Writer credit: Chuck Dauphin – Billboard.com
If a duo or a band has ever lived up to their name, Golden West definitely qualifies in that description. Comprised of Brittany Knott and Taylor Nash, the duo exemplifies all that one identifies as the California sound – a wide open, melodious approach buoyed by the pair’s pristine and airtight harmonies. According to Knott, the old saying “Practice Makes Perfect” surely applies, as they have been honing their craft for close to a decade.
“We’ve been playing together for about eight years now. We started playing in college our freshman year. We were just hanging out and jamming, and it turned into this songwriting and duo.”
The two actually met while attending Point Loma University in San Diego. Knott recalls that one of the things that brought them together was their love of music.
“We both have always loved music, and have had some of the same influences, but also a lot of different ones. I think that the thing that drew us together was that we could come together on those common grounds, but he would show me stuff that I never heard or had listened to before, and vice versa. For us, that was cool, because it showed us a different side of music that we had never heard.”
Nash says the two bonded over a wide variety of artists – ranging from Dolly Parton and Shania Twain to Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles. He added that his separate influences run the gamut even more.
“I really liked the alternative rock and the classic rock – this is L.A., after all. On the country side, I love the new guys, as well as the Bakersfield sound. The nice thing about living here in LA is that we get to listen to a little bit of everything.”
Each of those diverse musical influences come to the forefront of the Golden West sound. Their infectious debut single, “PCH” (Pacific Coast Highway) is a fine example of this – with the imprint of California written all over it.
Golden West manages to capture that roll-down-the-window feel of the highway that has captivated the world’s attention for years. What is it about that 655 mile stretch of road that runs from Orange County to Mendocino Country that inspired them to write the song?
“It’s one of the most scenic and beautiful drives in the world,” exclaims Nash. “We’re just blessed that we live so close to it. It’s the one road in LA that you don’t mind if there is traffic. There’s no false advertising the beauty of it.” Knott agrees with her partner, adding that there is something about driving the route that just makes you feel good. “It’s so iconic. It’s one of those roads that people from across the world come to drive on. It lives up to its’ name. On it, you feel free and careless.”
That same adrenaline rush is something that Golden West feels when they are on the stage. Taylor Nash says “We have a lot of high energy. That’s one thing that people say a lot about us,” while Knott admits that feeding off an audience is something they don’t take for granted one bit. “We love playing live, and the fans are so awesome. When we get on stage, they radiate so much energy that combined with our excitement, it makes for a fun show.”
Golden West approaches their music with a hands-on touch. They write their own music, and record and track everything in their own studio. When asked about their approach to crafting a song, Nash says “It varies. Sometimes, we sit down and can write one in fifteen minutes, and other times, it might be a little more difficult. We really approach every song differently.”
It’s that approach to creative detail that also comes into play on their tight harmonies, of which Knott says “It’s difficult to find that someone that you click with in music. We worked with so many different people over the years, and it just worked with each other right off the bat from a vocal level.” She says that also goes for writing together. “We just have a lot of the same ideas about the way we say things. A lot of times, we’ll agree to write a separate verse by ourselves, and they usually come out the same. It’s like we read each other’s minds. It just works. There’s no other way to describe it.” Both Knott and Nash have been collaborating with some of Nashville’s top songwriters, and aim to keep progressing as tunesmiths.
As far as their career from a business standpoint, Knott says their goals for the future are simple. When asked where she would like to see Golden West in the future, she didn’t hesitate. “We’d love to have a song or two on the radio doing well. Hopefully, we can go out touring doing as many shows as we can for as many people. To have the fans be moved by our music…that’s what it’s all about for us.”