6 Songs, 22 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rachel Taylor’s radiant voice kicks off He Is We’s 2011 offering with a sunny mood. The bittersweet “All About Us” opens the duo’s Skip to the Good Part EP with a duet featuring a guest performance by Aaron Gillespie. “Our July in the Rain (Stripped)” downshifts into heartbroken balladry, where Taylor’s inflections resonate with an up-close intimacy. There’s a palpable pain in the textures of her voice that sounds like she’s been losing sleep over her muse; piano and string arrangements play behind her (check out the haunting piano-and-voice version toward the end). The title track is more optimistic, bouncing lightly on buoyant beats and sweeping cellos as Taylor takes a more soulful approach to her singing. She rocks some intricately phrased rhyming parts in the song’s break (which sounds slightly influenced by old-school hip-hop) before layering melodic rounds in the outro. The duo closes with a live rendition of “Prove You Wrong,” which somehow sounds better-recorded than the studio takes.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rachel Taylor’s radiant voice kicks off He Is We’s 2011 offering with a sunny mood. The bittersweet “All About Us” opens the duo’s Skip to the Good Part EP with a duet featuring a guest performance by Aaron Gillespie. “Our July in the Rain (Stripped)” downshifts into heartbroken balladry, where Taylor’s inflections resonate with an up-close intimacy. There’s a palpable pain in the textures of her voice that sounds like she’s been losing sleep over her muse; piano and string arrangements play behind her (check out the haunting piano-and-voice version toward the end). The title track is more optimistic, bouncing lightly on buoyant beats and sweeping cellos as Taylor takes a more soulful approach to her singing. She rocks some intricately phrased rhyming parts in the song’s break (which sounds slightly influenced by old-school hip-hop) before layering melodic rounds in the outro. The duo closes with a live rendition of “Prove You Wrong,” which somehow sounds better-recorded than the studio takes.

TITLE TIME
3:26
4:06
4:05
3:22
3:58
3:03

About He Is We

Rachel Taylor and Trevor Kelly formed the sunny pop duo He Is We after becoming friends while working at a music equipment store in Tacoma, Washington during the late 2000s. They steadily built a presence on social networking sites, and by the end of 2009, He Is We had been named PureVolume's number one unsigned band of the year. Taylor's sweet vocals layered on top of simple, catchy pop melodies generated plenty of buzz on other sites, too, and following the February 2010 release of an album filled with old demos, He Is We inked a deal with Universal Motown. Their official debut full-length, My Forever, followed in November, and the duo supported it on a fall tour with the Rocket Summer. The LP peaked at number six on the Billboard Heatseekers albums chart, and to capitalize on their momentum, the band issued a pair of EPs, Acoustic/Live and Skip to the Good Part, in 2011. The following year, Taylor was diagnosed with the painful arthritic disease ankylosing spondylitis, and was unable to tour. In August 2012, Trevor Kelly officially left the fold, leaving Taylor, who had just returned to the stage, the sole member of the group. In 2014, Taylor struck out on her own with the EP Come Alive, and the following year saw her issue the single "Boomerang" under the moniker She Is We, with the full-length War dropping a year later. In 2016, Taylor and Kelly reunited under the He Is We banner for a series of shows, and in 2017 they released a collection of old demos and re-released songs called Fall Out of Line. ~ Corey Apar

ORIGIN
Tacoma, WA
GENRE
Pop
FORMED
2008

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