Earmarking a name for herself as a seven-year-old Eponine singer, Riva Taylor won what would become her record deal at only 12 years of age. In 2018 she released the single ‘My Mouth’, an idiosyncratic piece which found a fan in one Elton John. Indeed, it appeared on his Apple Music Beats 1 show Rocket Hour. He loved it and likely loved 2019’s ‘Mr Right’ and ‘This Woman’s Heart’. Taylor, who counts Kate Bush and Annie Lennox as influences, displays her extraordinary use of falsetto scales which will likely complete the triumvirate of cabalistic vocalists.
She has the pipes to prove the pedigree, as the wistful, guileful Running at Walls shows. A chanteuse who once supported Barbra Streisand in concert, this is a powerful piece of poetry, pining the old wave of song-weaving. Not that the song is entirely frumpish, as the ambient beat weaves their way into the ghostly words.
There’s a worldly gravitas to Taylor’s voice, weathered as it were on the phantasmic performance. Behind the fractured words and whispered chorus is a defiant work towering over the everyday climes the common person endures. The music backdrop stays tastefully in the background as the song grows with the emotional condition it so effortlessly aims for. A must buy.