Written in the wake of a breakup, Free Company is the latest album by Boy Scouts, aka Taylor Vick. Out now, Free Company confronts the pain of loss head-on beneath its weightlessly catchy melodies. It may be an album about "good old classic heartbreak," as Vick puts it, but it relishes the process of healing just as much as it carefully weighs the grief. With sunny vocal harmonies, bright electric guitars, and shuffling up-tempo drums, Free Company doesn't show its hand right away. It asks you to look past its sheen and take in Vick's deeply contemplative lyrics, which add dimension to her sun-soaked arrangements.
The album’s opener, "Get Well Soon" reckons with the difficult epiphany that comes when you've worked overtime to help someone you love, only to realize they won't meet you in the middle and help themselves. "It's a hard thing to say. You're hoping somebody will eventually feel better, but there's also this weird new distance between you. You can't do anything else, but you still really hope that they're OK," Vick says.
Raised in California's Central Valley on country music and The Carpenters, Vick picked up her first guitar in fourth grade. She started writing her own songs not long after, inspired by acoustic guitar-wielding radio icons like the Dixie Chicks and Michelle Branch. For Vick, writing and recording songs is a little like journaling, a way to make sense of the present and shuttle it off into the past. But her intimate compositions soon attracted a strong following of listeners. She may have been writing for herself, but she struck a far-reaching chord. Vick started playing shows around California, opening for bands like Soccer Mommy, Palehound, and Vagabon. In March of 2019, she played her first SXSW.
With a keen ear for melody and a palpable sense of empathy, Vick picks apart all the confusing and contradictory ways that people glance off of each other while moving through their lives. Her music is an invitation to shake off the weight that has been dragging you down, to lighten your step and keep moving forward no matter what lies ahead.