As Boy Scouts, Taylor Vick has, according to her Bandcamp page, released 2 albums 6 EPs, and a couple one-off singles in 11 years. Did you really think something like a pandemic would stop her from creating a new one?
Wayfinder is a follow up to 2019’s Free Company, the album that brought her to the forefront of the local scene. Though local music fans have likely known her name for a while, Free Company put her on the map nationally in 2019, resulting in a SXSW debut and high marks from Pitchfork.
A lot, obviously, has changed since then, and it’s reflected in Wayfinder. Perhaps owing to world events that upended all our lives over the last year, Wayfinder’s aura is more muted than previous work — and that’s saying something, as her records have always sounded a little sober — but also more complex.
While prior work often takes a turn for the spare and simple, Wayfinder sees Vick in more musical spirits, indulging in more hummable melodies and adventurous instrumentation (a Wurlitzer, Hammond, and Mellotron all make an appearance) than on her previous collections.
Opening song “I Get High” is a wobbly introduction to this new page she’s turned, and the album floats along through wistful, wishing tracks like “That’s Life Honey” and “Didn’t I.” It’s a record that not just laments the lost year, but, at points, bravely barrels ahead into an uncertain future: “I no longer want to hide / Share my secrets, I just might.” A lot of familiar local names appear in the credits here too, like Melina Duterte of Jay Som and frequent collaborator Stephen Steinbrink.
Wayfinder is available on Anti- Records on October 1.