The latest single from Florida-based singer-songwriter Taylor Castro, “Girl Afraid” highlights a growing maturity since her debut album PURE. Tackling a deeply personal subject, Castro forms an engaging and entrancing soundscape to form the bedrock of her musings on mental health and vulnerability.
Providing a revealing look into her own life and struggles with OCD, Castro paints a vivid picture through her lyrics of an individual struggling with herself and her weaknesses. It’s a searing, honest portrait that many listeners can relate to. The emotion and vulnerability of the lyrics are perfectly conveyed through Castro’s vocals, quiet and conversational through the verses and soaring through the chorus.
The track harkens back to the melodic singer-songwriters of the 70s like Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne. Like those Laurel Canyon residents, Castro provides a warm, comforting array of strummed acoustic guitars, plinking piano chords and swooning instrumentation to create a stunning collage of sounds. There’s not a single note out of place, with the careening melody gently easing listeners into Castro’s world. It’s a stark showcase for her growing skills as a songwriter and a musician.
“Girl Afraid” is a remarkable exercise in musical honesty, highlighting Castro’s ability to detail her struggles in a relatable and immersive manner. As the title track of her next album, the single is a great harbinger of things to come.
Words Jack Murphy