I just got a missive from the Tot Taylor mailing list in the pre-dawn hours alerting me to the fact that the active songwriter is keeping up a rather splendid series of 7″ singles that popped from the soil in late 2019 and shows no sign of abating, with this, his fifth single in 15 months. It’s almost enough to make one think that there was still a music industry…or something.
For those not informed, Tot Taylor is a polymath songwriter of much wit, taste, and reach. His vision of pop is immaculate and from his storied beginnings in the years ahead of their time band Advertising, to where I first joined the crusade, with his writing, production, and vision as the prime mover [often juggling multiple pseudonyms/roles] for the beloved indie/vintage label The Compact Organization. The label that brought Mari Wilson to the world and even this Monk’s attention.
Mr. Taylor has had bursts of his own fine music being committed to wax over the years, in between other artistic pursuits such as writing that novel, or curating an art gallery. Back in the late 80s, in my well-funded days, I ordered his then-current “Menswear” album directly from the Japanese label. I was greeted by the work of a songwriting classicist who still believed in pop music; delivering the work of a man who was obviously a later generation’s equivalent of Noel Coward. It was always an intention to get more of his music, but these windows of access tend to open and close as with a life of their own. The days when I could write a letter to the head of the Japanese label and buy the goods directly [my head spins at the thought, now] have long since passed.
Of course, in the intervening years, Stephin Merritt also made a name for himself writing similar songs of wit and sophistication, but there’s always room for more of that in the marketplace of ideas! Actually, That room never gets crowded. So if you’re new to Tot Taylor, but have time for Merritt’s work, then let’s celebrate this new single together, because it’s all about the ABBA®.
Tot Taylor: This New Abba® Record – UK – 7″ 
- This New Abba® Record
- Funny Mood
Mr. Taylor has crafted a sweetly pastiched amalgam of classic ABBA® sound ripped straight from 1975 but was ultimately concerned with the here and now. I love it when effervescent pop like this eschews timelessness for pointed commentary that boldly runs the risk of becoming dated in the perfect tomorrow that I don’t see coming. Taylor’s gentle vocals effuse easy-going charm while dropping heavy science with lyrics like these.
Week by week
I listen to the people
But then the people speak…
This new ABBA® record
Better be good
Go for a walk
Take in a protest march or two
Political science is
A-comin’ for me and you” – “This New ABBA® Record”
Of course, a song is worth a thousand words. Why not hear it below?
After the last half of a decade, yes. That new ABBA® record had better be damned good. We deserve no less. The A-side can be bought buy clicking the “buy” button in the player above. Since this single is non-LP for the forthcoming Tot Taylor album further downriver in May, savvy shoppers will want to opt for the single any way they can. The DL from Taylor’s Bandcamp page will set us back a mere £1.00 but the physical single on 7″ from the Rough Trade store [let’s get physical] also sports a non-LP B-side. Making the £7.99 investment for the 7″ pay further dividends. The DL is available today, but the 7″ will be shipping on Friday, February 19th. If you’d like to preorder, then hit that button below. Supplies, as ever, are limited.