Taylor Carson’s fifth studio album, WITH INNOCENCE, is being released TODAY! The album captures the sense of wonder and hope we all knew as children. It is infused with the optimism of dreams in everyday challenges and finds, with insightful observation, the good in the world around us. This summer soundtrack cleans the muddied lens and inspires the hibernating to awake and greet a new day.
On the eve of its release, Taylor shared the stage with President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and pop star Carly Rae Jepsen in Washington, D.C. in support of the Millennium Network.
During the recording process, Taylor announced a partnership with CauseTown. Taylor slashed prices in his web-store and then empowered his fans to donate 25 percent of their purchase price to the non-profit organization of their choosing. While Taylor feels strongly about certain causes, he also knows that his fans may champion different ones. CauseTown enables Taylor and his fans to leverage their consumer dollars for good.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Taylor last week before his big concert for the Millennium Fund and album release.
Q. What was it like putting together your fifth album, “Innocence?” What sort of things did you draw on for inspiration?
A. “Innocence” comes from me getting to a point where I realized that we all stress so much in our everyday lives. Sometimes it overwhelms us, so the word innocence has been ringing loud in my head. I have five nieces under the age of five and watching them helped me think back to when I was a kid, before I realized what the world is like. When you are a child you live with innocence, everything is taken care of and as you get older you lose track of that, so the focus here is more of getting back to that place – to live in the present and move beyond stress. If you have an innocent mindset, life is more enjoyable.
Q. How did you get involved with the Millennium Network?
A. The organization puts on events around the country and in each city they like to involve local acts, so we were chosen to be the DC local act. We opened the night with a 30 min set, then Chelsea Clinton spoke about the organization and then Carly Ray Jepsen played her set.
I love that the Millennium Network focuses on what is going on in America, sometimes the government overlooks what’s going on in the states, so I admire that they focus a lot on America. You have to start making a difference where you live, it’s similar to being a band, start with your home market and go from there.
Q. What other organizations do you support?
A. Mental health is super important to me, my mom was bipolar and I’ve dealt with that all my life, so I support organizations such as To Write Love On Her Arms – a nonprofit that helps people with depression, addiction and self injury. One of the coolest things I do though, is my partnership with Causetown, which let’s my fans support a cause of their choice. Everyone has a cause they want to support and it’s great to be able to choose where you want a part of my album sales to go.
Q. If our readers could only listen to one of your songs on “Innocence” which would it be (you can tell me a few if you really can’t pick!)?
A. Okay I am going to give you three!
Guard Your Heart: It’s a slow song, my wife wanted to include some of my music at our wedding, so I wrote this and played it at the ceremony.
Smile At The World: I wrote this song in Boston on a super nice spring day. I was walking around a neighborhood called Brookline and I noticed this happy young couple. As I watched them interact I could tell it was something new. I was also picking my wife up at the airport later in the day, so I had love on the brain. How you see the world is how you’ll go about your days, smile at the world it will smile back at you.
Home: This is my favorite song on the record. I wrote it when I got home from touring; my wife was sleeping, so I had to write super quietly, and was so happy to be home. In the song I’m telling “someone” it will be all right, I’m here from them and I’m home.
Q. What motivates you to do what you do every day?
A. Writing helps me process the world, without writing songs I’d just be lost. The biggest thrill of being a musician is having people connect with my words. Sometimes I start to get sick of my songs, but it’s really amazing to think that I’ve been sitting on this record for awhile, its completely mine, and on Tuesday it comes out and it’s no longer mine. I get to see how people feel about it, that’s the most amazing thing – other people are the most inspiring thing for me.