“Paul’s out of his damn mind. He conjures more original musical ideas in twelve bars that most musicians do with entire albums”
–Cory Branan

“One of the finest musicians I know and perhaps the most original songwriter in the world”
–Richard Orange (Zuider Zee)

“Soulful and a little magical. Kind of indie and utterly impossible to describe. I dig it.”
–Chuck Prophet

“A true son of Memphis music, Paul Taylor’s songwriting, singing, production and musicality all share the same freedom, adhering to no boundaries and transcending to a state of pure music. With one ear to the streets of modern Memphis music and the other on the teachings of Memphis music, Paul Taylor grabs hold of both tradition and modernism in a loving embrace and a triumphant lyrical philosophy.”
–Luther Dickinson

“Paul provides the world with a succinct cycle of songs that explores the materialism of time and the immaterial avenues of the unknown. Let the Mystery Be runs the gamut from big smoky synth stepping progressions programmed by 808s to observations on various levels of internal and external awareness.”
–Week In Pop

–Backseat Mafia

“A joyously adventurous listen”
–It’s Psychedelic Baby

Fresh off the heels of the critically acclaimed debut album by new project MEM_MODS, a fun and fresh instrumental collaboration with lifelong Memphis musical compadres Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) and Steve Selvidge (The Hold Steady), visionary musician Paul Taylor gives us Let The Mystery Be (EP), the 4th effort under his nom-de-plume New Memphis Colorways. The EP is due out October 13 via The Owl Jackson Jr. Record Company. The harmony-laden indie-pop gem “You Probably Saved My Life” single came out on Friday (OK to share).

“‘You Probably Saved My Life’ – a thank-you ode to the positive songs that truly got me through when I was in the lowest spirits. Specifically Tye Tribbet Life and Prince The Rainbow Children records sort of actually did save my life in the early 2000s,” says Paul Taylor.

Trying to easily define the man can be downright perplexing. Known in his hometown of Memphis (and now Door County, WI, his new home since 2020) not only for backing up myriad artists as a first call multi-instrumentalist secret weapon/utility knife and one stop shop production house; but also deeply revered for having the highest level of tasteful musicianship on multiple instruments (guitar/drums/bass/keys) and crafting his own endearingly unique genre-defying original songs. Accordingly, the name New Memphis Colorways suits his varied career and also salutes the city that made him.

Yet for all of this eclecticism, his songwriting most often draws comparisons to left-of-center pop stylists such as Alex Chilton, Todd Rundgren, Joni Mitchell and Elliot Smith; with his new EP, Let The Mystery Be, he serves up an astonishing 15 minutes that sounds more like what would’ve come out had John Lennon ingested/digested a heavy diet of Prince and Aphex Twin and then cranked out a modern EP of positive hopeful future funk. To top it off, for the title track, he has chosen to cover Iris Dement’s classic folk anthem “Let The Mystery Be”; but has reimagined it as perhaps an early ‘80s Paul Young electro-pop dance hit, only sung with the blasé devil-may-care attitude of Morrisey.

He’s toured and recorded as a drummer with the likes of Dave Shouse (Grifters), Robert Ellis, Chuck Prophet, Ann Peebles, Shelby Bryant (The Clears/Cloud Wow Music) and Amy LaVere. He was the first bassist in the earliest incarnation of The North Mississippi Allstars. He did time as a sideman for legendary Memphis guitar phenoms Eric Gales and Shawn Lane. He himself has also played dazzling guitar on records by everyone from Van Duren to The PRVLG. Taylor initially cut his teeth on Beale Street playing jazz and blues (as a drummer, bassist, and guitarist no less) with the likes of beloved Memphians Charlie Wood, Calvin Newborn, Honeymoon Garner, Reba Russell and The Gamble Brothers. He’s also a GRAMMY-nominated washtub bassist, and has scored an Emmy nom for film score work.

Trying to pin down his songwriting style and put his solo records into any category at all, is like trying to catch the wind. Old Forest Trail (2015) was an acoustic mediation on the passing of his father; followed by Old Forest Loop (2018), a garage funk record; followed by The Music Stands (2020), a slept-on modern Memphis power pop masterpiece; followed by It Is What It Isn’t (2021) — a straight up funk freak-out fusion instrumental record which received critical acclaim from DownBeat, Atwood Mag, and Jazziz in 2021.

Paul adds, “This new EP draws on a lifetime of study under Memphis master musicians and songwriters, but is inspired by my new environs of Door County, WI- where the visage of a frozen Green Bay, giant ice shoves and bright endless sunsets make this southern boy feel like he’s living in the movie Tron. Also having been schooled in songcraft by my now legendary power pop songwriting stepfather Richard Orange- this is a return to short succinct pop song formats. Minimal verses, tight hooky choruses,and fun beats! All five songs clock in under 3:30, a personal record in brevity for me, which is revelatory as my older efforts often followed a more meandering approach. This is way more direct and digestible. I hope this music lifts you up and gets you moving!”