She Is We On Unknown Sundays 12-2016

 

Fight For Me” I’m worth it. This must have been some of the mantra for Rachel Taylor over the last four to five years. I don’t get wrapped up in the usual music industry cliche drama of band formations, disintegration and rock-n-roll life.  I’m sure we can all “lose” ourselves in any profession, if the work load and demands are time sensitive, critical and personal.  However, I’m drawn to the recordings of She Is We because I do love people finding how strong they can be–and the honesty of realizing you can be what you want to be–it may just be “on the side,” if you will.  If this gets personal, it’s because it has a hint of that for me.

 

She Is We, started as He Is We.  Both demonstratively poor names for a band or solo career, but it certainly deepens the personal nature of the projects, depending on how you read the histories. I want to believe that it was personal for Rachel Taylor, while it was a marketing and career thing for the “other” members and management of the previous name.  How do I come to that conclusion? It might not have been that obvious, considering the MySpace and Facebook-ing generation that went on that got He Is We the prestigious title among some publications as one of the number one unsigned bands in the United States. So, there’s that marketing push; that desperate, tireless pursuit of making your love, your passion, into your eventual career.  And for, her (or them), it started to seem attainable.  You’ve got thousands of fans, followers, and now the attention of someone in the music industry club that could be “paying” a greater attention to you.  And so, it unfolds.  For some, nothing happens.  For He Is We it does to some degree.  And now, it’s no longer a passion and a timely craft–it is now a locomotive that has a certain speed and destinations it must attain.
Enter the cliches, the distractions, the lies of lies, and of how it’s not work, how it’s not grueling and insensitive. Sure there’s passionate people, but they do it for different reasons and under different pressures and influences. Consider the HBO show Vinyl to understand the 70(s), but take that to a different level in these times, considering the money is made for the band on the tour–not in the record making or the contract (usually).  There’s probably less love between band and manager(s) now then ever.  I’m sure that’s not completely true–there’s probably real great music loving managers and companies out there (apologies to those that it’s never been about the money).

Enter the truth, and that’s where She Is We delivers the album War (this week). That’s what it is, but we’re talking about life, not making a record deal, not forming a band, not writing music or touring. Your person, your being! Rachel Taylor has come to this place (apparently a few weeks away before going into law enforcement) from the “war” of life, and it was worth the fight, at least that’s what I can tell from the music and lyrics (doesn’t hurt that Chris Lord-Alge is on the board). The “war” is far from over, which is true for all of us.  She will balance that passion, but now she’ll nurture herself and support her band mates, the crowds, and realize that even if this isn’t a knock-out success, that she will always be passionate about being a singer-songwriter.  Know that it doesn’t have to be the cliche acts.  You don’t have to have that career as a singer-songwriter to actually be a singer-songwriter. If you’re writing songs, singing and enjoying it…well, you are!  Talent should be good enough for a life time, and share it as best you can. Someday it will help someone else fight their own “War.”

 

SPECIAL ARCHIVE POSTING NOTE

She Is We or He Is We Albums in my collection:   War (2015)

This “Unknown Sundays” was done back on March 20th of 2016.  The road for Ms. Taylor is long winding one with trials and turmoil, and she’s come out of it.  At the time of this article being posted in our Archive Series, it appears that they are back to the He Is We band.  But, that did not come without separation and incarnations.  That being said, and taking a look at the album history, it appears they went back to He Is We right after the War release, starting with Fall Out of Line (2017) and as recent an album as last year, Treehouse.  Rachel Taylor still has that microphone loving voice and delivery that is easily absorbed, especially in the indie accompaniment and subtle production modifications on this more pop-style recording, increasing the vocal attachment and emotion within each track rather than letting the mixing punch it home.  Treehouse has some EDM, but it has much more intimate instrument arrangements and seems to fall away from the darkness of the material that was swirling around at the time of She Is We.  Treehouse really feels like the full package!  Genuine, comfortable, and much deeper.  Whether it becomes Them Is Us, or stays as He Is We, or maybe even The Rachel Taylor, there is a spot in the music multiverse for her — “we” believe.  – Mark Kuligowski  [May 28th 2023]

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