It's no secret that one of our favourite albums of the year so far comes from multi-instrumentalist and Brainfeeder signee Taylor McFerrin (son of Bobby). We've already given it a 9/10 review, and told you to ignore all words about it. So I'm not going to try reiterate how good it is - again just listen to the stream. But what I will say, is that whatever I thought of it from listening was enhanced when I actually talked to Taylor.
Over Skype from his apartment in New York, Taylor is unafraid to share the anxieties and setbacks that went into the album's creation, as we talk the album recording process, his relationship with Brainfeeder, his work at Lavelle School for the Blind and more...
How long have you been working on Early Riser? I heard that you'd started working on the record before your Brainfeeder deal...
Yeah well I put out like a three song EP that was like 'Place In My Heart' and two other songs, and that was called Early Riser Preview, so that was meant to be like part of the record. But only 'Place In My Heart' from that actually made it onto the record.
I guess that makes it like four years, I think I came out in 2011 sometime. A lot of people don't know that I was in a lot of bands leading up until that time, so there was kind of a period of juggling a bunch of different projects and that was the first point when I was like, "I'm only doing this stuff." But it took me a while to re-adjust to focussing just on my stuff, and I was touring really heavily as well. So in terms of supporting myself I was kind of chilling, and just travelling around doing shows. It took me a while to get focussed on studio stuff.
What made you decide that now was the right time to put it out?
I thought I was going to have it done like a year after that EP, and then I was like, "Alright maybe I need two years." That was like the furthest I saw myself extending it. But then I had a year of like the worst case scenario, where I felt like I wanted to start all the way over. And I kind of did. I started making all new stuff, different approach, and then I hit a wall with that and felt like I was completely lost. So there was two years where I made the instrumentals that are on the record, and then a year after that where nothing I did really was coming into fruition. This last year was like me reaching out to all these guests, sharing the record - getting over playing the record to people - seeing what people were vibing with and just putting together the team of guest artists. Once that process started, everything just started flowing again, and even the stuff that I didn't have guests on, got a lot easier to work on.