Alexis Taylor – I’m Ready (Stream)

by Steven Spoerl


Editor’s Note: There’s been a month-long gap in coverage, thanks to near-incessant travel and other extenuating circumstances. The following run of posts that contain this note will be posts that should have appeared sometime within the past several weeks. Use these posts as an opportunity to catch up to the present release cycle or to simply discover some new music. Either way, enjoy.

Hot Chip‘s excellent The Warning can rightfully be regarded as a classic record of a certain age and, at some point, it may even be viewed as definitive. A large part of its success can be directly attributed to principal songwriter Alexis Taylor, who maintained a strong grasp on a project that’s ideas frequently came across as boundless. The warmth that Hot Chip exuded was often slightly undercut by his penchant for the bittersweet but that still doesn’t make the reveal of  the devastating “I’m Ready” any less jarring.

Taylor’s newest project, and the first under his own name, is a solo piano venture that trims out any excess in favor of an intimacy that’s startlingly direct. Taylor opens the track with a wistful line that registers as more of a question than a statement, wavering in a relative uncertainty: “Don’t you know I’m ready?” As the song progresses, Taylor builds up a heartbreaking case for self-worth as an air of ambiguity increasingly deflates any projected confidence.

No track in 2016 has stopped me cold and stolen my breath faster than “I’m Ready”, which somehow manages to incorporate silence as an effective instrument (even when it draws to an unceremonious close, the noises of everyday life seem like an integral part of Taylor’s statement). There’s beauty to be found in all of the cracks and bruises that life administers in varying portions and “I’m Ready” combines them all into something heartrending and poignant. Simply put, “I’m Ready” is unforgettable.

Listen to “I’m Ready” below and pre-order Piano here.