Taryn's an Australian singer-songwriter; though born in Townsville, she's made Sydney her home for the past five years. She released a tentative (but actually pretty satisfying) debut EP, Unveil, in spring of 2015, which boded well for her next step, the inevitable expansion of her talent (and confidence) into the release of a full-length exploration of her art. Close on three months ago, Taryn re-emerged onto the scene with the release of an advance single (Life Of Song) from this full-length album.
Although it's undoubtedly one of the finest tracks, the remainder of the disc betrays no dearth of quality or inspiration - in fact, Cycling is a mightily consistent set. Basically, Taryn's writing has developed from the internalised, fairly direct portrayal of her experiences to the onward processing of those experiences for intimately conveying them out to an audience. During the past couple of years, Taryn has come through a time of disbelief and sadness to reach a state of hope, and in doing so has developed something of the skill to face these demons.
A keener realisation of the potential of musical arrangement has expanded and developed through acquaintance with the production expertise of Ryan K. Brennan, who also brings some lead guitar and percussion to the mix and oversees the participation of a handful of other musicians (Jack Millar, Cameron Whip, Lutalo Kiyingi and Rob Turner). As befits Taryn's now greater expressive expertise, Cycling's approach, its gentle layering of sound, is sensitive, intelligently managed and not over-zealous, whether utilising minimalist rippling textures (as on Season Of Singing, the plaintive So Tall and the title track) or a more animated progression (as on the dreamlike Mirrors with its slightly woozy unison vocals), while on Lay Down To Rest a lusher choral soundscape provides a keen foil for the sparse electric guitar chordings.
Closer scrutiny of the lyrics, either by way of the enclosed booklet or Taryn's website, is definitely recommended, although in just a few instances (eg Winter, Get There and Whispers On The Wind) the melody, and/or the musical setting, may feel a touch too plain for those lyrics to achieve their full potential. But that's a minor criticism in the scheme of things, as Cycling is overall a very persuasive demonstration of Taryn's fast-developing songwriting talent.
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