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Kim Taylor


Listening to Kim Taylor's I Feel Like A Fading Light, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for it all to fall apart, but it never does. There's a cultured brilliance in the atmosphere that protects the dark and elusive voice calling. She doesn't want you to know her like that. Her bio isn't 100 words, and it's mostly about who she opened for. She owned a cafe and loves poetry. She sounds like trouble to me, but that's what a lot of people are looking for. Bruce Warren, PD of Philly's tastemaker station WXPN, picked her out as hot music from the web, an artist to watch.

She's got a lawyer, management, an agent, and two previous discs. Most importantly, she's got Jimi Zhivago, one of the guvnors of the downtown NYC scene, and his myriad sounds, to paint with. And together they create an ambience that's consistent, and rings true.

She's from Cincinnati via Florida, and toured as support and part of Over The Rhine. She plays a National Guitar, but she's not playing blues. It's a very interesting texture, arpeggiated, picked, or strummed, and lends a sonic signature that's distinctive. (On "The Room Above" she plays a National 12-string, beautifully.) She's also a very good electric player.

Taylor's voice is one of lithe strength, sinuous. It is the soft brightness in the record's sound, the inviting element. Makes you want to see her play live, see how she acts and moves when she sings. In the one photo I could find that shows her eyes, you see that bottomless look.

                                   that look

Not a front-loaded album, I'm going deeper in as the album wears on, an old school quality I appreciate, and I hear Zhivago there, too. You can hardly overstate his value on the recording, although his acumen demands that it's always the artist that you're hearing, that you're feeling. But he weighs in on over a dozen instruments to bring the canvases to completion.

We love this record. It succeeds as a sonic universe, stem to stern. We want to know everything about the artist, and there is no greater testament to a fifty minute recording than the desire to enter the world of the bidder, be it verdant forest or spider's web. • Frank Goodman

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