Like most young singer-songwriters committed to their craft, Asheville’s Carly Taich has carved a line in the ground between her youth and adulthood. That line is her debut album, “Reverie.”
Taich sees “Reverie” as a breakup album, of sorts. Several songs are a goodbye to the bands and music Taich made before moving to Asheville four years ago. Taich and her band perform April 21 at Ambrose West in Asheville.
“I wasn’t even going to record them,” she said of her songs on “Reverie.”
"It’s easy as an artist to want to move on and just look back,” she said. “I knew I was going to have to simmer on these songs for a year and put them down permanently, and I’m so glad I did.”
Taich grew up in South Charlotte writing poetry and putting melodies to them, first with the banjo and later the guitar.
“I think a lot of people’s fathers are like, ‘you need to make a living,’ but (mine) was like, ‘you’re my songbird, go sing your songs,’” she said. “That was huge, because I felt like giving up a lot.”
Parental support only went so far for Taich. At Appalachian State, she fretted between her spiritual compass, which pointed her to music, and her brain, which argued for a more practical direction. She entered college as a music major and finished with a degree in advertising.
“I tried so many times to take a hiatus and it never lasted more than a week or two. I can’t tell you how many times I was like ‘I’m quitting music,’ and then I didn’t,” she said. “Even a few months ago, I applied for another advertising job, and I’m glad I didn’t get it.”
About a year after moving to Asheville, Taich felt boosted by winning Asheville Music Hall’s Brown Bag Songwriting Competition in 2015.
“That really shocked me and was just really confirming, like ‘You’re in this new city, people like what you’re doing. Keep doing it,’” she said.
Her music expanded when she connected with Midnight Snack, a band of Berklee School of Music grads who had moved to Asheville. They became producers and collaborators on “Reverie,” and they’re Taich’s backing band when she isn’t performing alone.
Taich sees herself as shy except when on stage. Writing and performing her music, she said, allows her to script and control how she publicly expresses herself.
“I love to be silly and some people think I’m funny,” she said. “But I think I’m most in my element when I’m completely alone writing music, not thinking about what’s going to happen with it, if anyone’s going to like it.”
Taich still works as a bartender and draws cartoons when she can, but she’s aiming to become a fulltime musician.
“So many people I know from high school and college are doing impressive things, or were, and it’s really easy to get down on yourself and compare,” she said. “I think it took a long time, but I let go of the idea of worldly success and kinda got back the childlike joy of doing it, and that’s everything.”