Local photographer Taylor Czerwinski brings her songwriting to light with the release of her debut single | Photo by Caroline Herring

Local photographer Taylor Czerwinski has been recording songs on her phone since 2013, singing to her own guitar and ukulele tunes or writing lyrics and melodies acapella. The recent release of her first single, “Every Time We Talk,” under the name Taylor Lee Czer is a revelation of her capacity not only for songwriting, but for following her intuition. 

After finishing the book, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, Czerwinski realized her songwriting has been what she’s feared sharing the most, and it was time for a shift.  

“I think that book helped me acknowledge that part of myself that I have hidden away from the public for so long,” she said. “Over quarantine I realized, ‘Well, life is obviously very short, and we should stop being afraid and just do it.’”

In May 2020, she brought her demos to Corey Campbell and Jenna Desmond of Babe Club to build out the mood and tone of each track, with Campbell supplying the majority of the instrumentation, Desmond contributing vocals and Julias DeAngelis contributing drums. The final product will be Pocket Change, Czerwinski’s debut album to be released in 2022. 

Some of the recording process for Pocket Change was done on a trade: Campbell and Desmond co-produced the album in their home studio, and Czerwinski provided them with photography and video production. 

“It made me feel validated in terms of my art, and I respect their art so much,” she said of the collaboration. 

For Czerwinski, her music has been a journaling space for her eyes alone, like the diary we had as kids.

“I realized if I don’t start practicing vulnerability within my own reality, then I’m holding back,” she said of sharing her songs.

Her new single, “Every Time We Talk” is about wanting to be heard and seen by someone who can’t seem to understand. 

As she addresses the thin line between when to keep going and when to stop, you can hear the smile in Czerwinski’s voice: “How can we see eye to eye / when you think the whole world’s blind? / Your depth perception isn’t kind / what were you hoping to find?” 

Songwriting has helped her slow down and process what it means to sometimes lose parts of yourself as you gather bits of wisdom.  

“When we are in a moment of doubt or worry or sadness, we feel like this is how it’s always going to be. It’s about understanding that life is but a season and one step at a time in the right direction.”