Rooted in synth and soaked in nostalgia, All The Ways We Are Together brings Dreamer Boy aka lo-fi, bedroom popstar Zach Taylor into the spotlight. Built on soft R&B crooning and long, cooing melodies, it’s a polished, modern record fit for a post-pandemic world - weaving calm and wavy steel guitar twang into the mix showcasing Taylor’s Nashville homebase.
Evolving from his 2018 debut record Love, Nostalgia into this synthesizer heavy space of Forever 21 and H&M radio worship, Taylor is breathy amidst lusciously layered synth. Inspired by greats like Neil Young, James Taylor, Kacey Musgraves and Fleetwood Mac, All The Ways We Are Together kicks off with sleepy, twinkly lullabies and buttery vocals “All The Ways We Are Together”, “Know You”, “Crybaby” and “Bike”. Blending together with silky vocals over a familiar drumbeat and cutesy lyrics like, “crybaby, cry / what’s the use of keeping it inside?” In the same vein as JAWNY, ROLE MODEL and Clairo meeting at a cassette tape swap, the record showcases pieces of nostalgic pop lost from the past as well as the evolution of indie.
The standout hit “Don’t Be A Fool” blends twangy guitar and a sun soaked, glimmery chorus which shines as the star of the album. Inspired by unrequited love, Taylor says the track is about hiding your feelings for someone when you should have been honest. Falling into “Let’s Hold Hands”, the envisioned love turns into reality with sentiments of “I love you more than a friend / is that okay to say to you?” Pairing these emotions with smooth rock guitar breaks and R&B backing vocals makes this love song a definitive turning point of the album. Where some tracks fall flat or fade into the background, the more vulnerable stand tall and give the record its life. Taylor has a way with giving the listener an open door into his mind and heart, which is apparent on the guitar heavy crooners.
Continuing, luscious R&B inspired tracks “Shoreline” and “August” stand out against the synth bop of yesteryear like “Lightspeed”. Dreams and patience are common themes within All The Ways We Are Together, putting the listener in a day dream of lush sounds encompassing new territory within the bedroom pop and lo-fi beats space of the music world. Rounding the record out with “Best Of Me” lyrics, “I know that I did the best that I could / hoping that you understood” brings the vulnerability from Taylor around again. As a whole, All The Ways We Are Together is an ode to young love and the space in between where we find ourselves hesitant. While we owe it to ourselves to slow down and All The Ways We Are Together is the soundtrack to it.