Kathleen Taylor
Gig Seeker Pro

Kathleen Taylor

Gainesville, Florida, United States | SELF

Gainesville, Florida, United States | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Wondrous Potions Reviewed in Lava Magazine's The Beast of 2010"

"Artists like Gainesville, Fla.’s Kathleen Taylor — and for that matter, every other woman on this list so far — are testament to everything that’s right and wonderful about this modern DIY era, wherein truly original independent artists with enough get-up-and-go can share their music with the world without having to rely wholly or even in part on third party (i.e., record label) support. Like her aptly titled 2008 full-length debut, Defy the World, Taylor’s Wondrous Potions is a rapturously beguiling mix of precocious quirk, sweet naiveté and — just when your guard is down — cunning intelligence and a pinch of wicked menace. It’s all about as weird as a psychedelic trip through a Grimm’s Fairytale, but here’s what sets Taylor apart from the “freak folk” movement that’s made hipster-approved stars out of the likes of Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart: No matter how “out there” her muse takes her on songs like “Sing to Me” (part of which she seems to be singing in Oompa-Loompa) or the spooky “Snake Oil Man,” she never gives off even a hint of self-conscious misfitdom. Her sense of whimsy comes straight from the heart, and it’s as real and unaffected as the giddy passion she packs into lines like this little marvel: “Well I’m rough around the edges, you’re shiny as a pearl/and the space in between us is a magnetizing swirl.”

By Richard Skanse

- Lava Magazine

""Defy The World" Reviewed in Texas Music Magazine"

"Everything about this debut by Austin-based Florida transplant Kathleen Taylor - from its strikingly original songs and production to the battalion of marching frogs on its cover - is an exhilarating breath of fresh air. Taylor's voice as both a writer and singer is steeped in richly poetic whimsy; but the production and arrangements here, rife with instrumental flourishes like tuba, vibraphone, banjo, musical saw and cricket chirps, transform her music into something truly extraordinary. The opening "Satellite Cats" plays like Paul Simon at his most playful crossed with Lewis Carroll, and "Defy The World" just gets weirder and more wonderful from there, like the soundtrack to a surreal fairy tale. Fittingly, its plenty dark, too, with songs like "Cul-de-sac Apocalypse" and "Old Enough to Know Better" that shimmer and shiver like ghost-lit fever dreams. Best of all, though, is the title track, a personal battle cry as rousing as it is sonically inventive. Defy the world, indeed."- Richard Skanse, Texas Music Magazine, Spring 2009/Issue 38 - Texas Music Magazine

"World Indepedent Music Association Artist of the Month"

Kathleen Taylor was selected as the World Independent Music Association's (WIMA) artist of the month for March 2009. - WIMA

"KRUU-FM Radio Interview"

Treefrogs are singing, hoping that it rains
I'm sitting on my couch and I'm wishing for the same
but it's dry, dry, dry
in Gainesville today

~ Gainseville Today, Kathleen Taylor

Her bio says to "Think an Art Noveau princess with a pair of brass knuckles." I think that fits Kathleen Taylor's music pretty well. The Austin based singer-songwriter recently released her album Defy The World. To listen to it is to take a whimsical little adventure through Kathleen's various inspirations, as well as encountering a variety of creatures in the wild, or at least the wilderness of suburbia!

Join me Tuesday at 9am for an interview with Kathleen Taylor and to hear some of her songs! - Lyrical Venus

"Austin KOOP Radio"

"One more fun treat tonight with Kathleen Taylor live on the show. She's just so sweet with such lovely songs and a beautiful, uniquely expressive voice. She even treated us to a brand new song...hope you enjoyed it.." - "What's A Girl To Do?"

""Defy The World" Reviewed in The Alternate Root Magazine"

"There is a gentleness to Kathleen Taylor. It can be heard in the twinkle of her vocal delivery, the wide-eyed wonder of her lyrics and the warmly plucked acoustics of her guitar and banjo work. The world at large is the palette she paints from with words and a wisdom. Vocally, Kathleen has a teasing quality. It is voice where childhood innocence meets adult experience.
‘Defy The World’ is her second effort. The album combines influences as diverse as the instrumentation which brags melodica, tuba, vibraphone, omnichord, baritone guitar, trombone and french horn in its arsenal. The title track is a march with a chorus that is a call to arms as it waves a lyrical banner. Ignoring what the mirror and the chatter of doom-sayers tell her, Taylor keeps a focus on the end game as horns and rhythm propel the song along. Slower movements keep a pace equally determined though more of a waltz than an attack on ‘Old Enough to Know Better’ and with a breezy air on ‘Moonlight and You’ and ‘Cul-De-Sac Apocalypse’. This album embraces the organic side of playing and provides a persistence generally more at home with full throttle rock and dance projects.
Austinite Kathleen Taylor was California born, Colorado/Florida raised against a backdrop of her mothers Townes Van Zandt, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen records. Her male dominated influences gain a female perspective and delivery on ‘Defy The World’ while her music remains genre free and innovative." - The Alternate Root Magazine


"Songs For Mothra"

"Defy The World"

"Wondrous Potions"



Kathleen Taylor has a relationship with the Muse. Not in the figurative, watered-down way we colorfully speak of ordinary inspiration, but in the literal way of the ancient Greeks who knew nine goddesses, fathered by Zeus, who are the source of all creativity. This makes her songwriting process unusual. Kathleen bumps into songs the way other people run into old friends at the corner store: she might find one in the weeds at the end of her driveway, floating just above a well-worn couch, on a bike ride down a rutted road, or in the glowing eyes of a feral cat. The songs are seemingly handed to her fully formed like beautiful gifts.

To tell her story we’re going to go all the way back to an A-frame house in the Colorado Rockies where as a young child Kathleen pushed toys around a cold pine floor while her mother kept the record player turning with the likes of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Odetta, Willie Nelson, and Simon and Garfunkel. While she was occupied with normal childhood pastimes, those voices and songs were finding their way inside her head and heart like the sweet smell of wood smoke blows through the cracks around a cabin door. But the Muse had only just begun to cultivate her. It would be many more years before she picked up an instrument.

That happened when she left Colorado for college in Gainesville, Florida, taking up guitar with no specific aspirations, just out of a desire to play covers of her favorite songs. Then one day her guitar teacher sent her home with a daunting assignment: to write an original song. Sitting down in her living room that night, it didn’t take long to notice the song was already floating around her and all she had to do was put it on paper. In 2006 that song, “Gainesville Today,” became the sublime centerpiece in Kathleen’s first CD Songs for Mothra, a demo album dedicated to her mother who had recently passed away, with solo performances of 11 original tunes and one cover (arguably the definitive version of Townes Van Zandt’s “Brother Flower”). The album quickly became a popular, word-of-mouth and internet phenomena – even garnering airplay on several radio stations. This is all the more impressive when considering that she had never performed in front of an audience before the CD was recorded. That would change…

Encouraged by that success, she and the Muse embarked upon a full-fledged studio album project in 2008 enlisting the help of producer Michael Hynes and some of the world-class musicians who make Austin, Texas home. Reviews for Defy the World were effusive. Critics loved the lush and diverse instrumentation, contagious melodies, clever lyrics, and, of course, her singing voice. It’s an album that appeals in equal parts to your head, heart, ears and feet. As an interesting side note, the title of the album came from a century-old advertisement for Defy the World Brand Cold Packed Tomatoes, part of a mountainous hoard of Victorian trade cards, postcards, photos, advertisements, and greeting cards Kathleen and her fiancé collect and trade as a passion and a side business. All the retro cover art for her CDs as well as other promotional materials on posters and the Internet are adapted from this amazing stockpile.

For her latest studio album, Kathleen and the Muse headed north to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 2010 to work with Jason Rubal for a more intimate and focused sound that is diverse yet cohesive as a concept album: there’s a mixture of solo acoustic, full band rockabilly, and a touch of nostalgic country (all labels must be used very loosely with Kathleen, however). Her trademark finger-picking on a beloved Martin guitar is front and center on each song. She is joined by a group of extraordinary session musicians, most notably Mark Jason Bohn, one of the most gifted drummers you will ever tap your feet to, and Dave Hadley whose ethereal work on the pedal steel guitar infuses pure magic into the mix. The songs are full of life, populated with nature and brimming with age-old wisdom and childlike wonderment. Her world is a place where bugs and plants can teach us everything we need to know; where love is means, an end, a promise, a long shot, and a glass of wine. And there are the people we meet along the way – drifters, grifters, ghosts, and cowboys – but not one of them is exactly who you’d expect. They are like reflections in a funhouse mirror: look closely and they start looking a whole lot like you.

But before you recognize the quality of the lyrics, you will be won over by her voice. Kathleen’s singing is skilled but unaffected, deeply expressive without being ostentatious. It mines the wealth of the singer-songwriter tradition without imitating it, and is identifiable as being true to the most talented and authentic artists of the past without having a single direct comparison. For a country that celebrates – if not worships – all that is trendy, superficial, pitch-corrected and ostentatious, it’s ironic that the term Americ