“Truest Things” by Taylor Leonhardt album review


Ella Burge

Oct. 23, 2015 debuted Taylor Leonhardt’s EP, “Truest Things.” Her organic and simple voice sings a different and powerful story in each of her songs, accompanied almost solely by her skilled guitar playing. She sports both a wide range of notes and guitar chords, alike.

The album opens with “Yours Again,” an upbeat tune from the perspective of the prodigal son, longing for a place in his father’s home once again. Leonhardt asks the scary questions we all wonder as we find where we belong, or stray from where we came.

“Ain’t Nobody” was inspired by the viral phenomenon, “Sweet Box,” and her unmistakable line “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Leonhardt’s rhythmic tune begs the question of what is really important in life and what we spend too much time focusing on. “At least the house looks good before it caves in” she chides, calling on her listener to take a step back and evaluate the things we focus on too much and the important things we ain’t got time for.

As a single twenty-seven-year-old, Leonhardt constantly found herself encompassed by friends’ weddings and elderly guests eager to provide insightful dating and relationship advice. The conflicting suggestions soon became comical to her and inspired her song “Settle Down,” in which she combines the spectrum of advice, ranging from waiting for the man, to going out looking for him and even to online. As light and amusing as her lyrics are, Leonhardt’s chorus calls to her future man, vulnerably lying out her heart and begging him to not make her settle down.

In the wake of June’s church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, she struggled with the idea of how “a man can walk away from everything.” “There Is a Way” tells honestly of Leonhardt’s struggles with her faith and the evil of the world. In the midst of her confusion, her heart begs to know “if there is a way worth keeping on” and, if so, for it to lead her home.

The last song, “We Know It By Heart,” hits the listener on an even more personal level. She wrote this soft, emotional song after waking from a dream where her father was dying, but didn’t want to see her. As a kid, she and her father would sit around and learn Eagle’s songs on his “beat up guitar.” Leonhardt confirms her father’s love for her on her own guitar as she tells of the songs they know by heart.

The entire album is a compilation of Leonhardt’s profound understanding of music as well as her impeccable storytelling. Each song poses a hard question, answers one or challenges the world to think differently. Congrats to Taylor for pursuing her dream and producing an album worth being truly proud of.

Photo and video courtesy of taylorleonhardt.com