Joel Taylor is an Australian-born, L.A.-based singer-songwriter who is also a hell of a piano player. It turns out that not just the ivories but also the music business are both in his blood: His grandfather learned to play boogie-woogie piano from Jerry Lee Lewis, performing with Col Joye & the Joy Boys, one of Australia’s very first rock bands in the mid-‘50s, before becoming a manager, concert and tour promoter. Taylor got further indoctrination from his parents, both of whom are also musicians.
Moving to L.A. around eight years ago, Taylor rented a room from guitar-maker James Trussart and would emerge from his small apartment to see anyone from ZZ Top and Jackson Browne to John Oates. That proximity to stardom has stayed with him over his time in L.A. — through a series of friends of friends, Courteney Cox ended up directing his video for “Give Myself Away,” which premiered on Variety last year.
Variety is debuting another video from Taylor, this one much more serious in theme: Filmed in California’s Mojave desert, “Moment’s Notice” is a harrowing yet heartfelt depiction of domestic abuse, one that ends with an uplift: Taylor describes the song as a “gospel hymn about rebirth” that was inspired by his decision to move to the United States from Sydney a week after graduating high school, leaving behind a tense family environment that drives the story behind the song. The clip stars Graham Sibley (“Sully,” “Jane the Virgin”),Sarah Utterback (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Ghost Whisperer”) and Sage-Quinn Blair; it was directed by Phillip Montgomery.
Taylor is currently finishing up his debut EP, scheduled for release on Jan. 11, with an album to follow early in the spring. “I’m really excited for my live shows this round, introducing songs and stories to new faces,” he says. “I’m ready to play every hole in the wall and then some in order to share my stories.”