Isolation Drills: Hannah Taylor (Hannah Taylor And The Rekardo Lee Trio)

Like the majority of you, all of us in the Philadelphia area are staying at home, learning to adapt to our “new normal.” MAGNET is checking in with local musicians to see how and what they’re doing during this unprecedented time. Photos by Chris Sikich.

Taylor: I’ll be honest: I’m not really sure where the last months have gone. It’s like they evaporated into thin air. There are good days and bad days. Some are just a wash. I’ll hit a productive streak and then lose entire days, and then snap out of it and be like, “Oh yeah, it’s Tuesday.” When the pandemic hit, I was sorta in coasting mode, gearing up for the annual “shit’s about to hit the fan and I won’t have a free weekend until autumn.” And then, poof! Every plan, gig and fun—gone. For awhile, it felt like I was floating around, living life with no context. 

Since then, I’ve scrubbed and organized every inch of my house, repotted all the plants that needed it and started/abandoned about 15 different art projects. I haven’t felt very creative; in fact, it’s been a little paralyzing. From a lot of people I’ve talked to, the creative paralysis has been pretty common. I go through spurts of feeling really down about it and constantly having to remind myself that it’s OK to not be productive. And especially to not measure my self worth in increments of productivity. Easier said than done—it’s really hard! But ultimately, this will be a blip in time. Gotta keep moving onward and upward.

This break from music has actually been a little relieving. I usually juggle up to six music projects at a time: fronting my own, backup vocals in a few, guitar/washboard in the others. At first I felt a little guilty, feeling relieved, then I really leaned into it. Pre-pandemic, I was starting to feel stretched a little thin, and this time off has given me some much needed space to recalibrate my brain and figure out where I’d like to spend my creative energy moving forward. 

It finally feels like I’ve plateaued. I’m ready to write and draw again. I can’t wait to play with my bands again. And if anyone needs to talk about their creative paralysis, I’m here to talk. I miss you, I love you, and I can’t wait to see you again.