Maria Taylor performing in 2009.
May 21, 1976 |
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
|Genres||Indie rock, folk rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, Piano, Guitar, drums|
|Labels||Flower Moon Records
Nettwerk Music Group
|Associated acts||Azure Ray
Now It's Overhead
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Maria Taylor.|
Maria Diane Taylor (born May 21, 1976) is an American singer/songwriter from Birmingham, Alabama. She is also a member of the duo Azure Ray with Orenda Fink, also signed with Saddle Creek Records and has played in Bright Eyes and Now It's Overhead. She plays several instruments, including the piano, guitar, and drums, and has collaborated with such artists as Bright Eyes, Moby, Michael Stipe of R.E.M., David Barbe, Crooked Fingers and Nik Freitas.
She released her first solo album 11:11 on Saddle Creek Records on May 24, 2005. Her second solo album, Lynn Teeter Flower, was released on March 6, 2007, also on Saddle Creek. "A Good Start," the first track off Lynn Teeter Flower, was subsequently named one of NPR's 10 best songs of the year for 2007. She released an acoustic album titled Savannah Drive with Andy LeMaster in fall of 2008. On March 31, 2009 she released her third full length, LadyLuck via Nettwerk Music Group featuring the song "Cartoons and Forever Plans," which was co-written with and also features R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe. Saddle Creek Records released her 4th solo album, Overlook August 16, 2011. Paste called Overlook "her best, most animated collection in years."  Taylor released her fifth solo record Something About Knowing on October 29, 2013 on Saddle Creek Records. In the Next Life was released December 9, 2016 on her own label, Flower Moon Records.
Taylor started her musical career at the age of fifteen in the band Little Red Rocket with Orenda Fink which released two CDs on Geffen—Who Did You Pay (1997) and It's in the Sound (2000). The group disbanded during the merging of Geffen with Universal Music Group. Afterwards, Taylor moved to Athens, Georgia along with her musical collaborator, Fink. There, they formed the band Azure Ray. The pair signed to WARM and released their self-titled debut as well as their second album, Burn and Shiver. After meeting the band in Athens, Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst invited the band on tour and introduced them to Saddle Creek. Saddle Creek release their following records November EP and Hold on Love. Following the release of Hold on Love, Taylor and Fink began a 6-year hiatus, releasing their own solo records. They reformed in 2010 releasing Drawing Down the Moon and As Above, So Below in 2012. Both Fink and Taylor were also involved in another Saddle Creek band, Now It's Overhead with Andy LeMaster of Bright Eyes.
Taylor's music is often featured in popular TV shows and movies. The Azure Ray song "Sleep" was featured in the 2006 Academy Award nominated movie, The Devil Wears Prada featuring Anne Hathaway. Her song "Time Lapse Lifeline" was featured in "The Beaver In The Otter" episode of "Bones". Her music has also been featured frequently on the popular TV series, Grey's Anatomy—"Song Beneath The Song" from her first solo album 11:11 was on the Grey's Anatomy Season 1 Soundtrack. Taylor also recorded a new song for the show's 2005 Christmas episode entitled "Christmas After All."  She also had a song featured on the hit ABC Family series Greek. "No Stars" from Taylor's album Lynn Teeter Flower was also featured on the prom episode of the CW's One Tree Hill; she also has had a song featured on the series Scrubs. "If Only" (featuring Conor Oberst) was prominently featured during the closing scenes of season 1, episode 9 of the NBC drama This Is Us, when Jack performs pushups with Randall on his back. In August of 2017, Pitchfork revealed that Taylor would play in Daniel Johnston's band at the Los Angeles show of his final tour.
Taylor plays with the high E-string removed from her guitar.
Albums with Azure Ray
- Azure Ray (2001, WARM)
- Sleep EP (2002, WARM)
- Burn and Shiver (2002, WARM)
- November EP (2002, Saddle Creek)
- Hold On Love (2003, Saddle Creek)
- The Drinks We Drank Last Night (2003, Saddle Creek)
- New Resolution (2004, Saddle Creek)
- Drawing Down the Moon (2010, Saddle Creek)
- As Above, So Below (2012, Saddle Creek)
- 11:11 (2005, Flower Moon Records)
- Lynn Teeter Flower (2007, Saddle Creek)
- Savannah Drive (with Andy LeMaster) (2008, Flower Moon Records)
- LadyLuck (2009, Flower Moon Records)
- Overlook (2011, Saddle Creek)
- Something About Knowing (2013, Saddle Creek)
- In the Next Life (2016, Flower Moon Records)
- Bright Eyes - There Is No Beginning to the Story (2002, Saddle Creek)
- Bright Eyes - Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (2002 · Saddle Creek)
- Bright Eyes - A Christmas Album (2002 · Saddle Creek)
- Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning (2005 · Saddle Creek)
- Bright Eyes - Digital Ash in a Digital urn (2005 · Saddle Creek)
- Bright Eyes - Noise Floor (2006 · Saddle Creek)
- Bright Eyes - Four Winds (2007 · Saddle Creek)
- Bright Eyes - Cassadaga (2007 · Saddle Creek)
- Rich Shapero - Dawn Remember (2010 · Outside Reading)
- Nik Freitas - Saturday Night Underwater (2011 · Little Record Company)
- Whispertown - Parallel (2012 · Acony Records)
Maria's music videos include "Up All Night" from Something About Knowing directed by Alan Tanner, "Matador" from Overlook, "Song Beneath The Song" from 11:11, "A Good Start" from Lynn Teeter Flower, and "Time Lapse Lifeline" and "Cartoons and Forever Plans", which features actor/singer Soko and was directed by SKINNY (Directing Team), from LadyLuck.
Maria is also featured playing drums in the video for "Four Winds" by Bright Eyes and "New Drinks for the Old Drunk" by Crooked Fingers, the solo project from Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann.
- "Songs of the Year: 2007's Best Music".
- Murphy, Tom (January 3, 2014). "Maria Taylor talks about why she doesn't use a high E string on any of her guitars".
- "Maria Taylor: Overlook".
- "New Music: Maria Taylor ft. Conor Oberst – "If Only"". October 19, 2016.
- "Saddle Creek - Azure Ray - November EP".
- La Gorce, Tammy. "Biography: Maria Taylor". Allmusic. AOL Music. Retrieved 2007-01-17.
- "The Devil Wears Prada". June 30, 2006 – via IMDb.
- "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer". December 11, 2005 – via IMDb.
- "Birmingham's Maria Taylor on new CD and new song, 'If Only,' on NBC show 'This is Us'". December 5, 2016.
- Pamela Porosky (September 2005). "Maria Taylor's 5-String Solo Journey". musicplayer.com. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
- "The Maria Taylor Interview: "I Married A Republican" And Other Stories From The Deep South". Rock NYC. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
- "Birmingham's Maria Taylor on new CD and new song, 'If Only,' on NBC show 'This is Us'". Alabama NewsCenter. 2016-12-05. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
- Shapero, Rich. "Dawn Remembers: The Making of the Too Far Music".
- "Maria Taylor "Up All Night" – Alan Tanner".
- Gnapster (November 15, 2006). "Crooked Fingers - New Drink for the Old Drunk" – via YouTube.