Photos of Aaron Taos by Matt Sherman
Following the release of his GUITS EP and CMJ debut earlier this month, emerging artist Aaron Taos is starting to look beyond his Brooklyn apartment, where he recorded most of the six-track collection.
With growing buzz for his guitar-driven, genre-bending melodies, the 24-year-old New Haven, Connecticut native has recently been approached by various publishers and labels. And while he's unsure of what will come of those discussions, he feels he's on the right track—as he should.
"It’s opened up some doors," he says, speaking with Variance shortly after playing CMJ, the annual music festival in New York. "I’m not sure how serious they are, but I don’t think I’m really focused on having to get signed or anything like that. The main thing for me right now is becoming better."
That's been his goal since he first started playing in a band about five years ago with some high school buddies, some of whom now perform with him for his live shows.
"Growing up, I'd look at the Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes," Taos recalls. "That’s what I grew up listening to and those are some of my favorite bands. [Arctic Monkeys frontman] Alex Turner is still my favorite songwriter and he’s actually the reason I wanted to start playing guitar. I see bands like that and I'm inspired by them."
The young musician has reason to be optimistic. He'll be spending several weeks in Los Angeles next month working with producers as he continues crafting some of his forthcoming material. And it certainly doesn't hurt having the backing of Meryl Streep's daughter, Louisa Gummer, who co-starred in his recent "Hands" video.
"We went to Vassar College together and we’ve been friends for a while," says Taos, noting that she's a model and had previously done some acting, so the video "seemed like the right fit for us to finally work together. And she killed it."
Having originally started in music by making hip-hop beats, Taos hopes to integrate more of those sounds into his upcoming music. And as he looks ahead, label or no label, he hopes to at least upgrade his equipment.
"This first EP was a little bit lo-fi because those were the tools I had," he says, joking: 'I promise I'm not trying to be clever or do something ironically. I want my music to be as polished or as unpolished as it needs to be ... That's what I love about those other bands. It's not about perfection, it's that you're giving your best."
Aaron Taos' GUITS EP is out now and can be heard here.