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Taylor Miranda Believes You’re Irreplaceable

“Some people are lynch-pin people, holding up so much beauty and light, that it is unfathomable to think that we ever have to live without them.”

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By Zach Collier

Taylor Miranda left her mark on the Provo music scene through high profile, well-regarded music videos with her band TREN. Their music videos reached hundreds of thousands of people and led to a collaboration with world-renowned violinist Jenny Oaks Baker. Members of the band like composer Richard Williams and Spirit City’s Nate Young have continued to make music through different avenues. Aside from some great collaborations, we haven’t gotten a chance to hear more from Taylor Miranda until now.

Last week, Miranda released a brand new EP entitled Hole in the World. Containing four songs, it differs from her other projects in major ways.

For example: in college, Miranda fell in love with writing lyrics and music to prompts. “I learned that I loved having parameters to help me focus my ideas, and switching up styles according to what the project called for,” she says. “And for the past several years with my band TREN and otherwise that’s what I have been doing, creating custom music catered to what a client needs, or creating music to fit a specific need in the music marketplace.” Writing in this way has taught her how to step into someone else’s shoes and how to write in a variety of styles for custom wedding songs, video games, and soundtracks.

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“But with this EP, it’s like I’m stepping into my own two shoes and digging deeper to create the songs that connect to what’s inside of me,” she says. “It’s something I haven’t done in a really long time. It’s been a beautiful thing, but also a really scary thing too, for some reason.”

She says she feels like her EP is a bold statement to the world. It’s like she’s saying “HERE I AM.” In fact she literally sings this during the soaring chorus of her song “Learn My Lesson.”

I’m personally very glad that Miranda has taken this chance to shine as a solo artist. This EP is far more stripped back than the cinematic TREN productions or the sweeping orchestral arrangements of her recent Christmas collaboration with bandmate Richard Williams. Relying instead on acoustic textures and lush, well-planned harmonies, you really get to experience just how pure her voice is. The harmonies on “I’m Just a Bird” are a perfect example. Her angelic harmonies take flight before dropping into a pedal steel guitar solo. It’s an intimate, down-home atmosphere I’ve never heard from her before. It’s wonderful.

“It’s been both an incredible and vulnerable feeling to step out and show people this big part of myself as an artist and songwriter,” she says.

The album art for Hole in the World.
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Nowhere is she more vulnerable than in the title track. It’s a patchwork quilt of grief and loss. “My grandpa was in the hospital around the time I started writing this, and I was forced to think about what it will be like when we lose him someday,” she explains. “It got me thinking about how some people are sort of lynch-pin people, holding up so much beauty and light, that it is just unfathomable to think that we ever have to live without them. I thought about my great grandma Mary Ellen who lived a full life into her 90’s – and still we weren’t ready. I thought about my cousin Chelsea that we lost when she was only 18, and all the unanswered what-could’ve-beens. I thought about what my mother-in-law, Rosa, once said about being without both her parents now and how ‘it feels like you don’t have any roots.'”

The title track is less about a single person than it is about a collection of significant individuals she’s already lost. There are so many people in the world you’ll never meet. People in cars next to you in traffic you’ll never speak to, random strangers you ride the elevator with, the other people in the movie theatre eating the same popcorn and watching the same film. Everyone has a story – an intricate web of dearly beloved connections that may be unknown to most, but are invaluable to others. All of us are important.

Taylor Miranda recording vocals at Capitol Records.
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It’s easy to lose sight of this message. Miranda understands this firsthand. “All of the songs on here connect back to hard things of varying degrees in my own life,” she says. “Losing people, falling back into the same bad habits, feeling a loss of identity as a parent, and both being and feeling estranged from people and things that used to be so clear and connecting.” Despite trials and failings like these, none of us are replaceable. If we disappear, there will be a hole in the world where we stood.

One way this project doesn’t differ from her previous work is her collaboration with producer and friend Nate Young. While listening to the EP, you feel like tones and textures and arrangements are all intentional. The mix suits the material. The EP feels comfortable and organic, and that’s largely due to the years the two have spent working together as artists.

“There was an incredible amount of synchronicity as the production came together that truly felt like magic,” Miranda says. “He understood each song so well and where they needed to go to become what they are. I genuinely don’t think I could have made this specific EP with anyone else.”

Her glowing words about Nate are a perfect embodiment of the theme of this EP. Without Nate, Hole in the World wouldn’t be what it is. And without Taylor Miranda, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. I know I’m running the risk of sounding cliché by riffing on all this “you’re unique, you’re special, you matter” nonsense. But honest to goodness, instead of making me roll my eyes, Miranda’s EP really made me believe in it all.

Make sure to follow Taylor Miranda on Instagram. You can listen to “Hole in the World” below.

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One reply on “Taylor Miranda Believes You’re Irreplaceable”

I truly appreciate the insight you have expressed. I’m very prejudice since Taylor is my granddaughter. Her talent goes way back to winning statewide songwriting competition s when she was under 10. My favorite of all time was written at that young age. It is called ” Wouldn’t it be Strange.” It’s a perfect song.

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