Taylor Kopp - Found [Vinyl LP]
Taylor Kopp is a songwriter from Portland, Oregon. His debut album, Found, was written at a remote cabin in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The result is a collection that wades across rivers and wanders into the summer woods at dusk. These are songs of loss, love, and the fight to live free. Kopp’s guitar is at once spare and detailed, his voice that of a friend who has traveled far to sit with us.
One of those albums that sneaks up on you from nowhere and catches your attention with a ‘play me one more time’ whisper in your ear.
All the music on these ten tracks is performed by Kopp; vocals, guitar, piano, vibraphone, tenor sax and harmonies. On the website, Kopp says that “the songs on the record exist somewhere in the place between the death of my brother, and my need to carve out a bigger life.”
In trying to reconcile his loss, Kopp moved to the woods to write at a cabin in the foothills of Mt. Hood, Oregon. The songs are reflective and they never rush, but rather take their time to settle into the space that is created by the gentle arrangements and melodies. A Dream I Had is a very personal observation of what happened and his reaction to his bereavement; ‘You came to me in a dream I had, And you said “brother what have I done to us? Man, I got lost, tryin’ to find my mind, And when I found it, it had all turned to dust.’ Poignant and nakedly honest. Equally, High Desert Nights is a wistful look at what was lost in the brotherly relationship ‘Out of the blue that song came on the radio, And all I wanted to do was talk with you about it, Just like we used to do when we were young.’
Music can be the best therapy and Kopp certainly has used his gifts to try and heal the sadness and the attempts to make sense of it all. In another fine song, Boy On the Bank, he sings “I’m still tryin’ to figure it out/ I’m getting closer I guess/It depends on the way that I feel on the day that you ask”:
The album was recorded and mixed by Josh Powell at The Map Room in Portland, Oregon and there is an intimacy and a feeling of expansive skies under the stars, The soft vocal delivery perfectly complements Kopp’s easy guitar style and the 35 minutes slide by in an easy reverie, like settling in at your feet, by a warm campfire.
An old flame appears back on the scene in Hometown Kid and the reflective strum has the singer thinking of second chances; :”I never thought I would be that hometown kid/That dreamed about busting out/but never did/But here I am, thirty five/Spend every damn night in this same old dive.” We all know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut and how hard it can be to move on.
Under the Pines is about feeling one with nature and finding a connection with your partner in the silence of the forest –”All I need is a little more time/A little more luck and a little more wine/And one more night under these pines with you.”
As debut albums go, this is very assured, quietly captivating and laced with interesting songs.