Boy Scouts is an imaginative DIY-indie group from Oakland, California led by singer-songwriter Taylor Vick. This summer, Boy Scouts released their first proper LP entitled “Free Company,” with Anti- Records. The album is packed with soft and sunny melodies, which are placed delicately alongside Vick’s lyrics on heartache and overcoming personal hardship.
The album’s debut track “Get Well Soon” is a captivating ballad full of sincere and remorseful lyrics, like “I hope you think of you / we all want ya to.” In the corresponding music video, Taylor sends this person off with balloons, juxtaposed by her singing and playing acoustic guitar to the background of scenic California shots.
The success of “Free Company” has opened the West Coast band to many possibilities, including joining Jay Som’s headlining tour, a cross-country journey including Chicago on October 18th.
In anticipation for the show, Taylor spoke to WLUW about the new album and her inspirations as an artist:
Allison: Congratulations on the new album, how is touring with the new songs going so far?
Taylor: We’re about half way through the four-week cycle and tour. But yeah it’s been going really well so far. We just mostly did West Coast shows, where we went into Texas and Denver. And the shows have been really great, like touring with Jay Som has been amazing, we’ve been touring at really awesome venues and their fans have been really lovely to us. And I’m excited for the next leg of tour, especially because we will be on the East Coast and we won’t have to drive for such long hours.
A: I’m sure that will be nice, and have you been to the Midwest before?
Taylor: Not really, I’ve been to the East Coast, but it will be awesome to go to Nashville and Atlanta, and Vermont, and Kansas. So yeah it will be cool to visit places that I’ve never really been to before.
A: Has performing always been something that interested you as an artist or was it more about making the songs?
Taylor: Definitely the songs, my favorite part was always the writing and recording process. Performing is just a totally different thing … and it’s really scary. I started off just doing it by myself when I was younger. And it had its moments of being fun but ultimately it’s kind of terrifying. And then once I got a band and began performing with other people, it’s way more enjoyable and I do like it now.
A: So you talked a little about songwriting, what does the process look like for you, and did you end up writing the new album or using some of your older songs to make the album?
Taylor: I hadn’t really set out to put together an album. I am just always writing songs. Sometimes more often, I go through periods of writing a lot more than other times. I already had a bunch of songs written and then it just sort of ended up that I chose to put them on an album. After I started recording with Stephen [Steinbrink], and I realized “wow this really does sound very good, we should do like a bunch of them” and then it sort of came together once we recorded them.
A: I read that your recorded this album in a shipping container, which is honestly very impressive. Will you always want a part of your music that’s unconventional or has a DIY quality, or can you see yourself leaving that behind in the near future?
Taylor: That’s a good question. I think that has been a part of my music for so long. You know the DIY aspect, I have been recording my music for so long at home and with whatever is accessible. And I think that is wonderful, but now having a band and especially these fuller sounding versions of the songs, I’m thinking now thinking it might be better to have a real recording studio with the full band there. But it’s expensive and it takes a lot more planning. I’m not at all opposed to the idea, I think it would be cool to experiment with one day. And the shipping container was like his [Stephen Steinbrink’s] rented storage unit almost, it was where all his equipment was. Because he records everything himself, and when you’re just one person you don’t need that much space. It’s very cool, because it’s also a lot less intimidating than what I imagine a studio to be. I have never really done that, but it seems so scary.
A: Plus it seems important to record with people who you feel comfortable with. I have noted that a lot of your songs and many of your music videos and cover art revolve around nature. Is that where a lot of inspiration strikes for you, especially growing up in California?
Taylor: Yeah, I definitely have always loved being outside. And there are so many beautiful places in California that I have been lucky enough to be around while I grew up. I think with using it for the album artwork, a lot of the times when I’m writing a song it’s because I’m feeling sad or shitty or some other crappy emotion. So a lot of times, when I am feeling that emotion or depressed or something, I will go on a hike outside or walk around. And I have a few spots around the Bay Area that make me feel better, places where I can clear my head and go. Often I would go and take photos from those areas, and then I ended up using them for my album artwork. But yeah, I love being outside and California is just so beautiful.
A: Lastly, if you could only eat Girl Scout cookies or Boy Scout popcorn for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Taylor: Oh, Girl Scout cookies for sure! Thin Mints are the best.
A: I’m a huge fan of samoas myself. Thank you so much for talking to us today and best of luck on tour!