Maria Diane Taylor (born May 21, 1976) is an American singer/songwriter from Birmingham, Alabama. She is also a member of the duo Azure Ray, with Orenda Fink, and Now It's Overhead, both on Saddle Creek Records. She plays several instruments, including the piano, guitar, and drums. Before you listen to her new album, Maria Taylor suggests you prepare yourself.
Listen to it, she says "in a dark room, with a candle or two with headphones, maybe in the bath, but definitely horizontal." Though much of the deliciously diverse "LadyLuck" is inspired by the end of a relationship, it's not dripping with sadness and grief, nor is it in-your-face empowering. Rather, Taylor strikes a stunning balance between melancholy (aching strings, hushed vocals) and uplifting (rolling rhythms, shimmering keys), highlighted by sharp lyrics that draw optimism out of sadness. This is not a woman down on her luck. "LadyLuck", Taylor's third solo effort, is about "personal growth and the change that comes with it," she says.
Much of the album was written as Taylor was preparing for a move (to Los Angeles) and immediately after arriving. "This change in my life was so so needed," she says, "that, whereas lots of older songs have happy words but a sad undertone, these songs have sad words but with hopeful undertones of renewal." Change is something Taylor has welcomed in her career, which started at age 15 in the Birmingham, AL-based band Little Red Rocket. Taylor later became one-half of the dream pop band Azure Ray and left in 2005 to strike out on her own. "I just listen to my gut...always," she says of the move.Make Maria Taylor Playlist