For Zach Taylor optimism is a calling. The 24-year-old songwriter/singer explains that the misty, shape-shifting pop music he’s made for the last few years as Dreamer Boy has been a way of accomplishing a grander aim.
Whether on the road with friends Clairo, Omar Apollo, and Still Woozy, or on the themes of his upcoming release, All the Ways We Are Together, Dreamer Boy’s purpose has become clearer over time, and, in the spirit of unity and harmony, the Spokane-raised, Nashville-based singer and songwriter has chosen Earth Day, April 22, as his album’s release date, which dabbles in gauzy folk, blunted disco, and the swirling neons of contemporary pop, a colorful canvas for Taylor’s positivity.
All the Ways We Are Together is an album about love. While these songs are, in part, about him falling for someone, they’re also about the love we have for ourselves and the love we can show to the environment around us—as well as the revelation that all of these feelings are intertwined.
Growing up in Washington, Taylor knew from a young age he’d be a performer. He remembers watching his grandmother sing and being taken by the way she owned the room, but it was years before he’d be comfortable to do so himself. In high school, he took up rapping, ripping beats off of YouTube, and doing his best to tell his story. His perspective expanded when he moved to Nashville for college and met other musicians. He had new reason to take music seriously while, he was simultaneously going through an intense period of personal growth.
Things changed right around the time that Taylor first adopted the Dreamer Boy moniker. Working with his close friend and collaborator Bobby Knepper producing and co-writing, taking all the time they needed to hone in on music that felt special and personal. When Taylor emerged with the first Dreamer Boy album, Love, Nostalgia, in 2018, it felt different than anything he’d ever worked on before. The songs drew on the warm twang of his Nashville home as well as the hearth-like glow of his good intentions and hope.
All the Ways We Are Together was made directly in the wake of Love, Nostalgia, and inspired by the circumstances of that first album’s creation. Recorded at Knepper’s house with contributions from friends, the instrumentals feel intimate and personal.
Listening to All the Ways We Are Together is to experience the strange rush of falling in love, ecstatic and overwhelmed, so overflowing with emotions and ideas that it can almost be dizzying. More than ever, Dreamer Boy is content to dart between sounds and styles—there’s fractured piano balladry, ghostly ’80s pop memories, hazy R&B, and gossamer folk yarns. That sonic diversity is also a way of presenting all of himself, offering connection and community to anyone who might listen.
For Taylor, All the Ways We Are Together is just a part of a long road to understanding his place in the world.