It was over a decade ago that Austin’s Taft Mashburn started composing and recording music in his bedroom. His musical path included a two-year stint in New York, an experience he credits with introducing him to a variety of musical styles that broadened his creative horizons and helped him discover his voice as a primary instrument. Taft returned to Austin in 2014, and released his debut album, Groove Redundant through local label Punctum Records. Since that, well we haven’t heard much from Taft, not least because he spent five months in complete seclusion in rural Vermont. An occasion that coincided with a creativity spike, the results of which form his upcoming album Goodnight Plum. Today we’re delighted to share the first taste of that record, in the shape of a live performance of his new single, Yellow World.
It’s entirely appropriate to showcase this record with a live performance, as that’s exactly how Goodnight Plum was recorded. Returning to his native Austin from Vermont, Taft performed the pieces he’d written as a live concert in the studio, Goodnight Plum is that live show put to tape.
Yellow World, is a deeply intimate piece, just Taft alone at a piano, plucking out sweet high-end runs, and rich bassy chords, as his bruised, tender vocal seems to rinse every drop of emotion out of his chosen words. Fans of Alexis Taylor’s recent piano record, or Rufus Wainwright at his most stripped back will find much to admire here. Discussing the track Taft suggests has it was inspired by watching a Youtube video of a MIDI performance of Debussy’s Clair De Lune, as he explains, “I watched, with fascination, as the little colored MIDI bricks scrolled across the screen, unravelling a complex piece of piano music with ease. What should have been disaffected and cold, I found to be layered with significance and poignancy”. A fascinating inspiration, for what is one of the most intriguing introductions to an artist imaginable, and one that has us marking Goodnight Plum down as one of the year’s most anticipated records.
Goodnight Plum is out later in the Spring. Click HERE for more information on Taft Mashburn, you can catch Taft, February 27th at The Lemon Lounge in Austin.