Premiere: ‘The Voice’ star Taylor John Williams’s new video is just ‘Like the Movies’

Lyndsey Parker

Team Gwen’s singer-songwriter, poet, and former dog hotel worker Taylor John Williams was a top five fan favorite on The Voice Season 7, thanks to his buzzy covers of Lorde’s “Royals,” the Once theme “Falling Slowly,” Kanye West’s “Heartless,” and Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.” Since leaving the show, the 26-year-old Portland troubadour has kept busy, releasing the independent EPs Song of a Dead Man and Hiraeth in 2016 and the full-length El Dorado last year. Today, Yahoo Entertainment’s Reality Rocks is premiering the first video from the album, a live version of the stunning track, “Like the Movies.”

Taylor John Williams

“I felt that ‘Like the Movies’ was most deserving of a no-frills, live performance video,” Williams tells Yahoo. “I wanted to get a few of my favorite vocalist in Los Angeles — Beck Pete, Ricky Manning, and Madison Malone — along with the wonderfully talented Emily Elkin on cello, together in a room to capture the song in a pared-down, vulnerable state. Alongside the brilliant director that is Cypress Jones and the audio engineering talent that is Mr. Thomas Greene, I believe our concept has been actualized.”

Williams says the “Like the Movies” is a “song about addiction — an addiction to the idea of getting something back that perhaps ought not be gotten back. It was inspired by a bit of undeniable irony, when a large field back in my hometown where I shared a defining moment with my first great love became the grounds for a new drug treatment center.”

As for the rest of the dark, wryly observational material on El Dorado, which chronicles his first year of living in the “golden city” of L.A., he says the album “plays out like an Ecstasy-laced therapy session where my faceless listeners are asked to be my collective, one-way shrink. Writing for me acts as a sort of tool to navigate my insecurities and lay them out thickly and messily; like a toddler trying to make his own peanut butter sandwich. El Dorado speaks to a variety of these insecurities; from the financial horrors that face a naive LA newcomer to the unwarranted assessment that I’m being haunted by James Bay’s career, to the constant unsureness of a romance that exists in both the past and present.”