19-year-old Canadian folk singer Taylor Mitchell was killed by coyotes while hiking alone in Nova Scotia Tuesday afternoon, a story that quickly made news here in America. She was in the midst of an east coast tour promoting her debut album, For Your Consideration, and no doubt looking forward to next month’s Canadian Folk Music Awards, where she was nominated for Young Performer of the Year. She will now receive significantly more attention in death than she enjoyed in life, due to the tragic circumstances of her passing.
I certainly hadn’t heard of her. But in seeking out her musical legacy online, I was pleased to come across the seven rough but promising tracks on her MySpace page, as well as the samples available on her official website. They’re the work of an old soul, a girl whose voice is still finding its strength but whose musical character was already fully formed — her songs are wistful, traditional country-folk, certainly worthy of the classic “mature beyond her years” chestnut. There are several YouTube videos posted in tribute to her, but there’s only one that doesn’t feature graphic coyote photos superimposed next to Mitchell courtesy of what looks like a German tabloid, and that one isn’t embeddable. This story in the Montreal Gazette interviews many of her musical associates and peers, and we’ve reached out to her manager and hope to bring you a more personal remembrance soon.
Meanwhile, why not visit her MySpace and her official site, and listen to the music she left behind. Then leave thoughts, tributes, or — if you had the pleasure of knowing her work prior to today — memories in the comments.
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Photo Credit: Sarah Wiggins