Music Review: Unseen [EP]

Life isn’t perfect. And sometimes we have all these crazy emotions that we want to talk about, but we can’t. Sometimes, these emotions and thoughts inside us turn into a tumbled mass of crazy words that we, ourselves, struggle to keep up with in our heads.

Tayler Buono, a singer-songwriter from Orlando, Florida, knows what that feeling is like. She feels the heartaches and joys of life deeply, and understands how confusing it can be to voice the crazy emotions inside us. Yet, when she processes strong emotions or ideas through music, she has the ability to create a soulful melody with inspiring lyrics at the same time.

This 20-year-old rising star has had experience with music since a young age– she was able to sing before she could even talk, and was writing her own songs by the age of 3. She began vocal training at 8 and learned guitar at age 14. From there, she started a YouTube channel (posting videos of her singing covers, as well as original songs), and performed at small venues. In late 2010, she was spotted by producers from RTC Entertainment, who invited her to open for their show at Orlando’s Hard Rock Live.

However, Tayler’s shot to stardom didn’t begin until 2012. She was a part of the CW’s short-lived reality TV show / singing competition, The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep, where she was mentored by Joe Jonas and performed live on national TV. Since then, she’s played at the Walt Disney Amphitheater, opened for popular artists such as Megan & Liz, and released a that showcases inspirational lyrics, catchy melodies, and wisdom beyond her years.

The first track, Lucky In Love,” has received a lot of airplay on Radio Disney and talks about the positive side of being in a relationship. Co-written by the members of Before You Exit, it has upbeat lyrics such as How lucky am I? / To get to walk around the world with your hand in mine / To get to live my life knowing you’re by my side / Your love’s the perfect thing to get me feeling alright… The positivity only gets stronger as the song progresses, and the chorus states: It don’t matter where we are / Feels like we’re somewhere up there / In the stars / When I’m with you, baby / All I know is, baby / I’m lucky in love with you. This song is reminiscent of CCM singer Jamie Grace’s debut single “Hold Me,” and it’s the perfect summer anthem (even though it’s not summer yet).

Let It Die is a song about a relationship that’s not going to work out in the end; a message that can be confusing at some points in the song. Never had these insecurities / Before you came around / We both know you’re no good for me / If I hold onto you, I’ll drown…the song begins, with strings and acoustic guitar in the background. And it only gets more intense from there. But how am I supposed to let go? / Everything I’ve ever known / Is pulling out from under me…Tayler continues to talk about how letting go is so complicated, but then the chorus starts. A mid-tempo pop beat and synthesizers join the previous instrumentation as she sings: There’s not much left of this love / My heart can’t take another beat tonight / I need something to revive / This love / If I’m gonna make it out alive / I need to let it die, making this a fun pop/R&B track about a serious relationship dilemma that we can all relate to.

What If It Wasis one of those songs that made me tear up when I heard it for the first time. On social media, Tayler said that two of the songs on the EP came from late nights filled with tears writing on her bedroom floor. I believe this is one of them. The piano-driven track is just so heartfelt, and describes “what could’ve been” in a relationship. You can really hear the sincerity and vulnerability when she sings But what if it was? / What if I missed it? / What should I have done / Should I have kissed him? / I’m stuck on the fence / It doesn’t make sense / There’s no way that it could have been love… It’s really a great song, filled with emotion.

“Two of the songs on this EP came from late nights filled with tears writing on my bedroom floor. I am grateful for it all.”

~Tayler Buono

Fun and upbeat, I Like is actually one of the first songs Tayler wrote. She wrote it about her first crush when she was 16– however, she didn’t record it until last year. It was released late last year as the third single from the EP, and has also received a lot of airplay on Radio Disney. With lyrics such as I like, I like the way you make me lose my mind / I like the way you put your hand in mine / If I know one thing from love / It feels like I can never get enough… I can spot you from a mile away / The way you look at me, it makes my day / Come make my day / Being next to you is all I wanna do / In a crowded room / All I see is you, this is the perfect song for any Valentine’s Day playlist. It’s a song that you can’t help but smile when listening to, no matter your mood.

Unseen is another song that describes the lows of a relationship, but for Tayler, it’s also a journey in discovering who she is and her self worth. The lyrics I won’t go on unseen are a personal declaration in a beautiful song that everyone can relate to. Being “unseen” doesn’t only happen in relationships. It could happen at school, with a group of friends, or even with families. The title track of the EP is a declaration to embrace who we are, even through any insecurities or heartbreaks.

Unseen is my journey in discovering who I am and my self worth. “I won’t go on unseen” is a declaration. My hope is thatΒ Unseen would become OUR declaration. Even through insecurities & heartaches, we are beautiful & seen.”

The closing track, It’ll Only Get Better is another very personal song to Tayler. It’s obvious that she tries to see the world through a lens of optimism, but, like all of us, recognizes how confusing and hard life can be at times– and this song reflects the hardships we may go through. I heard the acoustic version a couple years ago and thought, Wow! This is amazing! I wonder if she’ll release a studio version?Β  Well, two or three years have passed since I saw the video, and the song is new and improved. New sound, slightly-modified lyrics… and the same powerful vocals and inspirational lyrics we have come to expect from this pop superstar. She starts the song off with lyrics that speak of defeat and loss; Well I try, but I can’t find the strength / To put a smile on my face / Everything goes wrong when I try too hard / Get me out of this place / On a train, on a car / Just somewhere far away / Lost in the mess that I made / Stuck in the middle of a storm / Is there anyone in this pouring rain / That can help me get out of this place… but then lifts hearts with a certainty of better days ahead. Lift up your head, it’s gonna be ok / You’ll see the beauty in the clouds someday / I know you’re wishing it would go away / But if you hold on just a little bit longer / You’ll get just a little bit stronger / It’ll only get better.

This EP is only the beginning for Tayler, as she’s currently writing and recording more music– hopefully, a full-length studio album is in the works for later this year πŸ™‚ I have a feeling she’ll stay in the music industry for many years to come. Listen to the tracks from the EP below, and let me know what you think πŸ™‚

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EP BY: TAYLER BUONO
Release Date: January 13th 2015
Recorded: 2014
Genre: Pop / R&B / Inspirational
Produced by: Unknown
Record label: Unsigned

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