Back in 2017 when I was attempting to wrap up the best local records of the year, I noted that I couldn’t imagine Seattle that year without Taylar Elizza Beth’s stunning debut EP, Fresh Cut Flowers. It’s amazing how much can happen in five years (have you read the news lately?), but equally wondrous how some things don’t change. All to say – I can’t imagine a Seattle scene without Taylar Elizza Beth.
Though Taylar did leave Seattle for Los Angeles for a minute, she always maintained a presence in the city she solidified herself – coming back for hometown shows and continuing to collaborate with the likes of fellow rapper and 6950 alum DoNormaal and Tacoma’s Khris P on her 2019 Ripening LP. Taylar’s always been able to rap in a whisper-like voice without ever lacking tenacity in her rhymes, a stellar artistic feat not easily replicated. But in late 2020, she had a near-death experience, documented in her latest single “nov 13” – produced by STILL SIPPIN & mixed by Seth McDonald (The Forest & Ruby Room). She shares her reflections below:
"In the early hours of friday november 13th my car hydroplaned into a guard rail & was instantly totaled. the driver's door almost ripped completely off. the front smashed beyond recognition. and me, not one scratch to be found. walking/limping away from this accident, i knew in that moment my life would be forever changed. I survived, and I felt like I needed to understand why.
The past 5 years have been a whirlwind of unhealthy coping mechanisms, even unhealthier relationships, burning bridges & falling out with friends I imagined I'd grow old with. I haven't always been my best self.
This song represents what it means to come full circle. to see life in a new perspective, to do the work it takes to grow and learn and power through even when it gets uncomfortable. it's an apology to those I've hurt, while also acknowledging the love I deserved and wasn’t given.
I can say without hesitation that I died that night. I've grieved who I was, sat with my trauma and now I go forward with a new sense of who I am & how I want to spend the rest of this precious & quick life. blessed to still be here. blessed to get a second chance. blessed to be chosen in this realm as the talented artist i am. destined for greatness. ready to shine."
That sense of revival is felt prominently on “nov 13.” The sound of rain on pavement intros the track as melancholic keys and circling bassline enter in the frame, making way booming bass, drums, and that familiar voice. Her intensity rises seemingly with each word, escalating into a climactic ending complete with the sound of splintering glass. It’s one of the most furious and intense recordings we’ve heard from her yet, making her intentions clear and she spouts, “Came into my power/came here to devour.”
While the circumstances of its genesis were dire, “nov 13” is a reminder to be thankful for Taylar’s presence in this city. It’s also an exciting preview for what might be ahead for her – an exciting prologue to the next era of TEB. Listen to “nov 13” below.
Cast and crew of Danny Denial's new web series Bazzooka chat with KEXP about filmmaking during a global pandemic, the parallels between the fictional Seattle of the series and the one we’re living in today, and the power of art in enacting change.
Every week, KEXP features a new local artist with an interview and suggested tracks for where to start. This week, we are featuring artists performing during Block Party at The Station, this Saturday, June 17, in Beacon Hill.