Music I Like

Music I Like: Taylor McFerrin – “Florasia”

Taylor McFerrin, Early Riser – Album Art. I suppose he’s rising early.

Taylor McFerrin is a well established electronic music multi-instrumentalist, currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Florasia is a gorgeous and succinct song. It’s lush and fruity. It’s incense and warm cushions. I’d prescribe it for rainy days off and cozy blankets. It’s the sort of song that unctions you to have a REALLY nice stereo system in your home. McFerrin seems to have mastered the art of getting non-vocal music to express what the lyrics are saying whether the lyrics are there or not. He sings beautifully over it all to complete the sonic reverie:

I found this album at a low point in my life toward the end of last summer and it literally brightened up my life. I was drawn mostly to the loveliness of Florasia, because something about it connected to thoughts and feelings about/for my partner, who lives just under 600 miles away (566 miles to be exact). Upon listening intentionally and looking up the lyrics, I found that the song actually echoed my sentiments about my partner at the time:

Reasons for leaving you/
I can’t think of/
Never had to/
We both understand that we/
Are the reason for one another/
Seasons will be new/
And we’ll both find ourselves so far apart/
Stay my love/
I will always learn to find a way/

Taylor McFerrin

It’s a surprisingly groovy track on a heavily electronic album. He thrives in this space just fine, though. Florasia gives you the feeling of J Dilla and Marvin Gaye, boomy but smooth. Bass driven but light. Optimum for long drives or chill sessions. Great for walking playlists as well. I can’t help but see beautiful things when I listen to this song.

Another thing that comes to mind for me when I hear this song is childhood. I don’t have very many fond memories of being a kid, but the few memories I have of good feelings are extraordinary. I think about what it felt like to be so young and not feeling so impressed upon by life’s realities. I remember hearing my mother sing. I love the sound of my mom’s singing voice. She would sing when she was particularly happy. She would also sing when she was cleaning and have music on around my Nana’s place. I remember music feeling like magic to me. Florasia takes me to that happy place every time.

The synthesizers seem borrowed from Stevie Wonder‘s work in the 70s. There’s definitely some hip-hop influence in his sound and the musicianship is top notch. He employs some really interesting combinations of live instruments and synths to deliver something truly fresh and one of a kind. His newest album, Early Riser, features Hiatus Kaiyote lead singer Nai Palm, Emily King, Thundercat and Robert Glasper among a few others. You should check it out on iTunes and tell me what you think of it!

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