Dulcie Taylor is sounding just a bit more humble than usual in the opening lines of her new single “Soft Place to Fall,” out everywhere this season. While her words set the tone for this track and its video perfectly, they’re contextualized by a melodic approach that has become Taylor’s and Taylor’s alone in recent years. This is more than a retrospection on the recent trends in indie pop – to me, “Soft Place to Fall” feels like a song that gives us direct insight into how its creator is evolving and, more importantly, what we can look forward to next.
The lyrics here absolutely had the potential to be somber, but the harmony that they’re conveyed through just doesn’t allow for this to happen. Instead of making the emotionality of the verses heightened, the detailed elements within the mix are giving more lust and passion to the narrative in a way that makes describing “Soft Place to Fall” as anything other than organic impossible. Sonic and compositional integrity are important features to this player, and if you didn’t know that before this release, you’re going to be made aware of this inside this song’s first sixty seconds.
There’s a very exposed feel to the vocal in this single that I would love to hear more of from Dulcie Taylor in the years ahead, and I can understand why it possibly wasn’t as audible in her past works, some of which impressed me all over again when I revisited them. She’s definitely getting more comfortable with her surroundings in the studio, and though hesitation has never been an issue, you can tell she’s developing the kind of fluidity that it takes to win over fans in the international arena much as she has the scene-based underground in the latter portion of this past year.
Despite the fragility of the harmony as it stands in the chorus, the hook in “Soft Place to Fall” is actually very groove-minded and designed to pair nicely with the beat. The percussion is getting way more love behind the board than I think it needs, but if a poppy free-for-all can’t mesh with more casual influences in 2022, what are we to say for the future of indie music? Taylor isn’t deterred by mainstream conventionality – from the looks of this, she’s inspired to reject its simplistic origins and constant regressing aesthetical foundations, which typically leads to releases like this one hitting record store shelves everywhere.
Pop and soft rock fans might already know a thing or two about her music, but if a mainstream audience takes to the work of Dulcie Taylor, I don’t think she’s going to be stoppable in her ascent out of the underground. Hers has been a meteoric rise if I’ve ever seen one before, and though this is on par with what I was hoping to hear out of her newest output, there’s still no taking away from the impressiveness of the framework here. “Soft Place to Fall” is a new high point, and in time, Taylor will likely outdo herself once more.
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