Team Gwen singer-songwriter (and former dog hotel worker) Taylor John Williams was a standout on The Voice Season 7, thanks to his dark, moody, intense covers of Lorde’s “Royals,” the Swell Season’s “Falling Slowly,” Kanye West’s “Heartless,” and Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.” Since placing fifth on the show, the 25-year-old hat-topped troubadour has maintained that momentum via his original material, releasing the raw, independent EPs Song of a Dead Man and Hiraeth (both produced by Portland jazz musician Alan Jones). And as Williams prepares to release his full-length debut, he’s premiering the music video for his new single, “White Summer Dress,” right here with Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks.
“I wrote ‘White Summer Dress’ shortly after moving from my hometown of Portland to Los Angeles in the summer of 2016,” Williams tells Yahoo. “This was, and has continued to be, an emotionally turbulent time for me. The song deals with the claustrophobic feeling that comes from trying to maintain a calm exterior in moments of internal chaos.
“My vision for the video was for it to be a hopefully self-aware cliché: drinking alone in a bar, daydreaming about a woman, performing to an empty theater, etc. While the song itself deals with some heavy personal subject matter and isn’t meant to be so tongue-in-cheek, I wanted the visual representation to suggest that yes, I get it — there’s nothing groundbreaking about being an insecure, broken-hearted singer-songwriter in a funny hat with a modest drinking hitch. So I tried to have a bit of fun with it. And that I did.”
(Photo: Eric Rose)
As Williams — whose influences include Nick Cave, Jeff Buckley, Jack White, and Glen Hansard — returns to his indie-rock roots with “White Summer Dress,” he admits, “I had a wonderful time on The Voice and am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to get in front of millions. But I desperately missed the magic that happens in a room of 50 or so people that are there simply to hear your stories. It always reminds me of why I do what I do.” Watch this space for more on his forthcoming album.