Despite her age, 18-year-old Taylor Grey is an old soul when it comes to music. The Bay Area native, who is self-taught on guitar and piano, got involved in musical theater and lyric writing in elementary school, and began writing her own music to accompany the words at the start of high school.
Taylor, now a freshman at Stanford University, released her new EP Mind of Mine last week. Throughout the six-track EP, Taylor’s voice gives me flashes of Natalie Merchant’s Tigerlily while mixing what feels like twenty other genres. With every song, I could hear new influences from different pop singers, indie duos, and folk-rock groups from the early 2000s to now.
The opening track “Silly Little Way” introduces listeners to Taylor’s light, bubbly style right from the get-go. She sings about experiencing young love for the first time and the little gestures we do to let our crushes know we’re thinking of them. The bridge actually made me nostalgic for my high school flame (if you’re reading this, it’s too late).
As the title track and the longest song on the EP, “Mind of Mine” showcases a deeper side of Taylor through more of a stripped down vocal performance. With lyrics like, “Sticks and stones break my bones / cuz I’d rather be broken than alone,” this song slows the tempo a bit and displays Taylor’s vulnerability as an artist and a person.
Shifting back to an upbeat rhythm, “Love Sweet Love” stood out to me as the feel-good, windows-down-in-the-car, summertime anthem we all need. The opening percussion and chanting sequence felt like a familiar Of Monsters and Men or Imagine Dragons track that would have me tapping my hands on the steering wheel.
Of the entire EP, “Wait, Wait, Wait” was my favorite song; the catchy chorus perfectly hits on all the secret ingredients to make an earworm that will wiggle in your head for days.
Overall, Taylor Grey is a talented singer, songwriter, and musician, who doesn’t tie herself to just one style. Her lyrics are much deeper than a stereotypical pop song but her vibrant energy will have you tapping your feet and singing along the whole time.
You can listen to the full Mind of Mine EP here, as well as on iTunes and Spotify.