Eric Taylor Escudero comes to us all of the way from São Paulo, Brazil where his love and lust for music began with his adoration of 60’s and 70’s folk rock. Escudero worked with several different bands back in Brazil but recently decided to forge ahead on his own and what came of this choice is something truly beautiful. Escudero’s voice is emotive, subtle and honest. There is nothing big, extreme or outstanding about his voice but it is beautiful. It huddles perfectly into the warm nest he builds with his rich instrumentals. His latest record, We Were Young and It Was Morning, is a compilation of stories, poems, and tales of love, loss, life and sentiment and what it’s like dealing with these things in the business of a modern city.
Escudero has a way of making you feel like you know him. It’s part of the emotive and honest quality of his voice. Immediately when the record opens with “The Endless Sound of Greatness”, you feel welcome and part of something familiar. This warmth continues throughout the album and even though each and every song isn’t bursting with joy and celebration, in their sadness and nostalgia, they still bring comfort and a sense of companionship. “The Endless Sound of Greatness” is the perfect introduction and sample of what’s to come. It’s a musical journey decorated with loving lyricism and big, bright and beautiful instrumentals.
In addition to Escudero’s voice, you hear Ana Luisa Ramos on tracks like “The Endless Sound of Greatness”, “Black River” and another favorite of mine, “Fountain of Blood.” Her rich, folky voice adds another layer of exquisite beauty to the sound sonic structure Escudero has built. “Black River” is a prime example of this concept of sadness accompanied by warmth. The tone and mood of the track is melancholic, the lyrical content is tragic but within this tragedy is something tender, sincere and endearing.
The general tempo of We Were Young and It Was Morning is slow, gentle and thoughtful. “Before the Dew” and “The Spinning of the World” are the most up-tempo tracks on the entire album and though they run at a quicker speed than the rest of the album, they fit perfectly in the context of the album.
In “The Big City Lights”, Escudero explores this concept of living, working and existing in cities where it’s such a challenge to find yourself in the bustling and whirring cycle that is so easy to become entangled in. The record comes to a close with “We Were Young and It Was Morning Part 2”, picking up where the story left off during “We Were Young and It was Morning Part 1” and giving the album which in itself is a story, closure.
This record is a magnificent example of folk rock at its best. It’s fresh, creative, meditative, wrought with genuine emotion and full of life. I look forward to what else Eric Taylor Escudero will bring to us on future records.