Chill out with Kelsey Taylor’s new concept album ‘The Frost’

Did Christmas come early? New lush music from Kelsey Taylor, her album The Frost, dropped December 3 and we’re obsessed – so we asked Kelsey to share the story behind the creation of the record.

Here’s what Kelsey shared – keep scrolling to stream the album in full!

The Frost is a concept work about loss, grief, and how we cope with it; I wrote it during the winter of 2020-2021, and tried to encapsulate everything I’d been feeling over the previous year within it.  Since I started making music in this capacity, I’ve known that I wanted to write a concept album. I grew up in the world of classical music, and have always loved symphonies or film/ television scores; one of the most satisfying things to me is a piece of music that can represent such a massive, over-arching story.

One of my favorite things about the symphonies, scores, and concept albums that I love are the recurring themes, both lyrically and sonically.  I knew when I started writing The Frost that I wanted to accomplish that same thing.  Musically, this came quite easy; the piano line to the seventh track on the album, “Come and See”, was the first thing that I wrote back in November of 2020.  I found a way to slip that melody into every song on the album in some capacity (for example, the aleatoric strings on “Apricity” or the vocals on “November”).  Lyrically, I wanted to do the same thing, and it ended up being easier than I thought; around the time that I was writing this album, I started reading a lot of poetry by T.S. Eliot (particularly “The Waste Land” and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”).  Influences from his poetry began to seep into my own life, and ended up popping up all over The Frost, grounding and unifying the whole project together.

The most complex and intentional example of theme and motif from this album was definitely track 8, “Unraveled.”  It’s influenced by the kind of chamber vocal music I spent the previous 4 years singing, and I was incredibly particular when writing this song.  I initially wrote it as a poem, in which each line referenced a lyric from all the songs that came before it; when I set it to music, I added the melodic motifs from those same referenced portions to each line, and the end result was a super unique transitional track.

I’ve never put as much mental energy into writing something as I did with this album, and the result was better than I could’ve hoped for; I tend to be very self-critical about the music that I make, but I was pleased to realize when this project was finished that I was incredibly proud of it.  It was an incredibly cathartic experience, and I hope it can be the same for anyone who listens to it.”

You Might Also Be Interested In…

 

The Latest | January 17

It was a snowy weekend in Memphis – we hope you had a good album to snuggle up with. Or maybe you just let the heat radiating off of Ja Morant keep you warm? There’s enough of that to go around, and the Grizz even get a mention in this week’s round-up of stuff we […]

 

The Latest | January 10

Times are bleak, fam. Concerts big and small are being canceled or postponed again, and most of the ways you’ll find Memphis music in the news this week are, to use a technical term, a total bummer. We managed to rustle up a few things that brought us some light, and we think they might […]

 

The Latest | January 3

Happy new year, Memphis music lovers! Things we did on our holiday vacation: ate too much, unplugged, fell into a pit of despair watching all of the NYE shows get canceled as Omicron cases exploded, the usual. HBU? Anyway, we’re back and that means The Latest is back, too – here’s a look at […]