Every once in awhile, an artist and album comes around that takes you by happy surprise. North Carolina native Taylor Leonhardt’s album River House was that album for me in 2017.
Rabbit Room friend Nick Flora posted about the album on social media, and knowing that Nick is a man of fine taste, I decided to randomly check it out.
From the first breezy notes of the album’s opener “Everything” I was immediately intrigued by Taylor’s gentle folk sound. But as I listened further I was also deeply impressed with Taylor’s rich writing. In a season where I was struggling with personal anxiety and questions of faith, I resonated with Taylor’s own wrestling with her understanding of God in songs like “Would You Be Well” and “Surprising Me”, and found comfort and rest in other tracks such as “Diamonds” and “Lay My Head Down”.
In an even further surprising turn of events, Taylor happens to be good friends with someone I go to church with, and in November I was able to see her play many of the songs from River House in an intimate house show.
I am delighted to have discovered Taylor Leonhardt’s soulful music, and look forward to hearing more from her in the future.
You can listen to “Would You Be Well” right here:
If you like what you hear, River House is currently available for free for a limited time on Noisetrade.
Chris is an Associate Professor of English at Bristol Community College in Massachusetts, and is also the author of several books of poetry. In 2018 he helped co-found The Poetry Pub, an online community for poets. He enjoys walking in the woods, visiting coffee shops, and poking through used bookstores with his wife Jen.