Evolution – Julian Shah-Tayler (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Evolution is the sound of 80’s sonic glitter being scattered over a wonderfully modern alternative dance track. It may be easy to draw a line between Julian Shah-Tayler’s latest creation and earlier, post-punk, keyboard pioneers but only in the same way that you can connect an Umberto Eco novel with an illuminated medieval manuscript. Everything has a starting point but there is much more in this song which vibes with the here and now than could be regarded as retrospective.

And unlike the clinical, cynical sonic sound of such music in the past, there is an unexpected warmth to be found between the beats, a welcoming embrace to be had from the lyrics. Riding on some busy rhythms and chiming riffs, deep sonic textures and hypnotic waves, Evolution is relentless but gently so, cocooning and comfortable. And if there are hidden depths to be found in its musical ebbs and flows, the same can be said for the lyrics which address the idea of “evolving towards loving kindness through the layers of love and loss in a society that cares nought about the human heart, and more about ‘norms'”

And it would seem that such a song is perfectly timed, that it arrives just when we as a society seem to be locked into such a holding pattern. And if the people who we look to set examples don’t seem to be offering any solutions for the emotional and empathic healing which society is crying out for, then perhaps it is music rising up from below which might hold an answer. Music made by people as astute as Julian Shah-Tayler and songs as poignant as Evolution.

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