Sydney-born ’90s soul Taylor B-W recently released her funky pop track Nunchucks – a song about giving up the fight for a relationship that’s heading nowhere and opting for a good time instead. Read on as we take a look at the nostalgic-style song and for Taylor’s generous playlist of some of her favourite tracks. Paying tribute to the classics, she also dives into some forgotten gems – the perfect combination to give you insight into the rising indie-pop artist and to reacquaint yourself with some long lost tunes.
Taylor B-W is fresh from your bright ’90s dreams. Hitting you squarely in the chest with nostalgia, she embodies the modern soulful twist on thick and chunky ’90s R&B beats. Her latest track Nunchucks is no exception, with even the cover art looking like an Art Attack masterpiece.
Describing it as a ‘no strings attached pop song: nothing deep, just fun,’ Taylor B-W’s latest release showcases a powerful voice that is capable of gentle, flirtatious whispers. With rhythmic influences that blend between the likes of Salt ‘n’ Pepa and Lauryn Hill, soft vocals and hypnotic bass lines that semi-mimic BANKS, and a pop playfulness akin to Kimbra, Taylor B-W is firing up with creative sass and lush beats.
Having always been inspired by ‘90s music and culture, including the bright outfits and cheeky attitudes of R&B female groups and artists like TLC, Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Janet Jackson and The Spice Girls, I wanted to give a nostalgic nod to that era by incorporating the ‘90s vibe into the whole look of the single..Taylor B-W
There’s nothing quite like knowing what your favourite artists are spinning on their headphones, and luckily for us, Taylor has put together one of our best playlists to date. Boasting a whopping 19 tracks, Taylor pays tributes to both the classics and the underrated. Read on for some of her top picks and why, and you might be surprised what you rediscover.
TAYLOR B-W X LIKE VELVET
Stranger In Moscow – Michael Jackson – Not one of the more popular of MJ’s songs, but still totally innovative and one of my many favourites by him (it was hard to choose, as he is my ultimate artist of all time). Built on top of a beatbox base, the instrumentation is minimal and atmospheric, which, accompanied by the sad lyrics, makes the song very haunting.
Unfinished Sympathy – Massive Attack – The loose, percussive beat of this track mixed with the wailing vocals of Shara Nelson defines the 90s dance/trip-hop, in my opinion. A huge influence in my earlier songwriting.
Right Here – SWV – The ultimate 90s R&B girl group! As a child, this particular song taught me melisma (the term for the vocal gymnastics you hear all the pop divas sing) and how to use presence in my voice. This song helped me develop my own vocal sound.
Malamente – Rosalia – I am SO glad Rosalia has entered my life these past couple of years. Although it has been done before, no other Spanish artist, in my opinion, has mixed flamenco with urban R&B so seamlessly and beautifully. ‘Malamente’ depicts just that – it is so refreshing.
Mojo Pin – Jeff Buckley – ‘Mojo Pin’ is the opening track of Buckley’s album, Grace, and from the get-go his musicianship and stellar songwriting blasts you into a sonic stratosphere. I remember, years ago, singing to this song at the top of my lungs while driving across the ANZAC bridge, windows down with the wind in my hair, and feeling totally emancipated. His music does that to me.
Private – Vera Blue – Exciting, chaotic and intense, this is electro-pop at its finest!
Version Of Me – Kimbra – An intimate ballad from an artist who constantly raises the bar. This song is hauntingly simplistic, stripped back to delicate strings and keys, revealing her raw vocals that showed a different side of Kimbra that we hadn’t seen before. One of my favourite tracks ever.
Pyramid Song – Radiohead – With its ambiguous timing and lyrics, and soul-stirring strings, I’ve always been so intrigued by this song. Just listen to it and you’ll be sucked into its vortex too.
Master Blaster – Stevie Wonder – I always get excited when I hear this song – the bass gets my heart racing every time, the melody and vocals hit hard and it is just the epitome of cool. I strive to be this cool.
Under The Bridge – RHCP – Seriously, need I say more?
Joga – Bjork – I remember first hearing this song when my Dad was driving me home from school and he was playing the newly bought Homogenic CD in the car. I clearly have a thing for strings (almost every one of these tracks listed has atmospheric strings) because the moment this track begins, the legato burst of emotional orchestral strings hits you like a welcomed hug. I’m transported away, especially once Bjork’s otherworldly vocals and the electro beat come in.
West Coast – Lana Del Rey – The sadcore, beat poet vibes of Lana Del Rey will always have a special place in my heart. The music in this track was more rock-driven than the usual hip-hop/orchestral sound she was originally known for, and I loved the change in tempo in the chorus because it gave the song an edgier, sexier vibe.
Piece of My Heart – Janis Joplin – I have to include Joplin because her voice is such an inspiration to me. Long live the Queen!
Human – Sevdaliza – Experimental, individual and mysterious, Sevdaliza is one of a kind. ‘Human’ was my first taste of this incredible artist, whose style is very reminiscent of Bjork but darker and edgier. I saw her live in 2019 and was just in awe of her mystique and beauty. This sexy track hits hard.
Gemini Feed – BANKS – I went down a dark, electro-pop rabbit hole in 2016 and BANKS was a driving force in that. I became very obsessed with her album The Altar and ‘Gemini Feed’ is the opening track to the album that was a big influence in my songwriting when I began really honing in on my own sound.
Walk Away – Christina Aguilera – This is basically a soulful pop ballad that really shone Christina Aguilera in a different light for me. I love the storytelling of this track with her earthy, mature vocals.
Glory Box – Portishead – Another 90s, electronic, trip-hop classic. The beat, with the ‘Ike’s Rap’ sample, along with Beth Gibbon’s sultry, cool vocals, is the definition of cool to me.
That’s The Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson – I cannot get enough of this tune. It is literally the sexiest track I will ever hear, full stop. I recently broke down this track and discovered that it uses soooo many samples but that is what makes it work. It’s the subtle, laid back vibes that makes this song so damn seductive.
Bury A Friend – Billie Eilish – This just rocks. When I first heard this track I knew it was next level goodness – it was different to anything else on the radio, which is what I also strive for! The sfx sounds, the shuffle beat, and Eilish’s innocent vocals make this a banging track that entrances me (and makes me want to bend backwards like the Exorcist). Her brother, Finneas, is an incredible producer.
Stream Nunchucks below:
Posted by Rebecca Costanzo, Playlist by Taylor B-W