“Without the growing pains that come with life, we cannot become who it is we were born to be,” says HE IS WE frontwoman Rachel Taylor philosophically about the rather tumultuous year she had involving both her personal health and her band. Currently hard at work on the follow-up to her 2010 breakthrough debut album My Forever (Republic Records), her songwriting this time isn’t based on the wide-eyed innocence of youth but instead a wisened perspective of growth and appreciation. “This next album is a make up of the chapters the fans have seen me go through,” she explains. “It is my ‘thank you’ to each and every single prayer, tweet or email sent my way.”
Originally formed as a duo in Tacoma, WA who decided on a lark to write a few little acoustic pop songs in between work breaks at a musical instrument store, He Is We blossomed into an indie pop powerhouse whose debut album appealed to a huge audience. When My Forever was initially released, it astoundingly debuted on Billboard‘s Heatseekers Album Chart at #6 and zoomed up iTunes‘s Pop Album Chart to #3 almost immediately, spawning two hit singles “Happily Ever After” and “All About Us (featuring Owl City)”. They had collected a wealth of accolades in media from Alternative Press (“big enough for live sing-alongs and sweet enough for to soundtrack next year’s prom”) to AbsolutePunk (“For just a debut record, My Forever has set He Is We up for greatness”) to About.com (“If you love sweet, straightforward, melodic pop music, you owe it to yourself to listen to He Is We”). With major support from the media (including many Best of 2010 lists) and a continually building digital sales story, He Is We was enjoying commercial and critical success both in record sales and touring when health problems forced Rachel off the road. Her bandmate at the time, Trevor Kelly, continued their hectic tour schedule while she tended to her health. While the road to recovery was long and hard, it took a toll on the band itself, with Trevor eventually departing, leaving Rachel to decide her next step. But through it all, her fans were what kept her going, both mentally and creatively. “I have never felt so connected with the fans,” she says appreciatively of their continued and undying support. “They have truly become family to me and I owe them everything.”
With a renewed spirit and physical health back up to par, Rachel is gearing up for the next step – the follow-up to My Forever. “Feeling like I had truly lost everything, I saw what it was that I was made to do,” she explains. “I had the hands of each and every supporter raising me up, giving me strength and showing me that I wasn’t doing this alone. He Is We is more than just ‘some band’ but rather a movement of people. People who matter to me and deserve to know it.”
He Is We’s as-yet-untitled second album is due in 2013 on Republic Records.