The East Nashville Power Pop band Tayls transports listeners into a temporary dwelling of rock ‘n’ roll fantasy. Their dynamic pop-punk anthems and effervescent energy has captured hearts across Nashville, creating a multisensory experience while providing a feeling of belonging. The Nashville Scene describes the group as “stylistically omnivorous, pulling from a variety of disciplines from folk to glam, with a flair for grand gestures that nods to The Flaming Lips.”
Beyond that, Tayls is a band about friendship. The group takes a kitchen-sink approach to live performance, with an ensemble cast of Nashville talent, and stage theatrics akin to Bowie or Queen. The band’s self-proclaimed genre, Friendship-Punk, combines a DIY ethos with a do-it-together spirit.
Tayls is the conceptual brainchild of Taylor Cole and Greg Dorris, who met through the music scene in the early 2010s. The two became roommates and together, dreamt up a larger-than-life, wild folk band with the power to create a loving atmosphere of weirdos and misfits. The stars aligned soon after when Cole met Atticus Swartwood and Mo Balsam of the pop-punk band Molly Rocket. Taylor says that Mo’s guidance left a lasting impact on his singing, and he also recalls Atticus’s impact:
“He said the words I needed to hear,” Cole says, recalling a writing session one day when Swartwood sealed their fate.
“Hey man, whatever new project you’re doing, I want to be a part of it,” Atticus said, sitting casually on the steps of Mo Balsam’s porch.
“You got the job.” Cole said.
The quartet didn’t have to reach far to fill out parts. Taylor Cole’s Creature Comfort bandmade, Jessey Dee Clark, joined on bass and Greg Dorris’s former roommate — rock ‘n’ roll violinist Jo Cleary — swooped in with her bow. Cole and guitarist Andy Heath have been lifelong friends and collaborators and was an obvious next addition; Cole describes Heath as his “rock” when it comes to music. The final seat went to Michael Taylor, who joined to fill out the synth parts when Tayls was booked as The Cure for a local tribute band night. “After that, there was no way I was letting him out of the band,” says Cole. Those were the end of the “Inbetween Days” and the beginning of Tayls.
Tayls forthcoming full-length album, Have You Ever? (I’ve Always), was produced by Jake Ingalls (The Flaming Lips, Spaceface), whom the band says was a perfect fit. “He was exactly what we needed — energetic, driven, and most of all the band respected him,” says Cole. The record dives into complex topics like substance abuse, questionable relationships within the music industry, fear of aging, jealousy, and the tragic death of Cole’s high school sweetheart.
Their first single, “Scarlet Letter,” addresses the weight Cole feels about being the one who survived — and about grappling with age and whether or not he’s living life to its fullest potential. The next single off the album, “Like a Dog,” is about the buckling pressure to succeed, with friendship as a major resource for grounding yourself and finding determination. The full album is set to release July 2021.