Taylor Russell learned how to play the harp over lockdown

Is Taylor Russell the next It Girl? A profile in Harper’s Bazaar seems to posit such, though the actual woman is wary of the term, probably because of their tendency to flame out quickly. I didn’t know much about Taylor, aside from her enviable style, before this profile. She seems to take being an artist very seriously and her random lockdown pursuit encapsulates that. She learned to play the harp.

During the early days of pandemic lockdown, while some of us were hoarding plants or feeding sourdough starters, 28-year-old Canadian actor Taylor Russell took up the harp. “I wanted to play it for a very long time,” she explains. “I was like, ‘What’s the one instrument that none of my neighbors are going to hate hearing?’” Russell was living in New York at the time, and everyone was stuck indoors. “It’s the harp. It could never be annoying. It’s such a beautiful, calming thing,” she says. Russell signed up for virtual lessons and rented a harp. (The first song she learned to play was “Creep” by Radiohead.) Three years later, her enthusiasm and commitment have not dimmed. She’s just finished Mother Couch!, a dark comedy in which she costars alongside Ellen Burstyn and Ewan McGregor, and she is buying one as a wrap gift to herself. “You can’t leave a harp at home and travel. You have to really take care of it and tend to it daily because the strings break and it can’t be in a certain temperature,” she says. “It’s so sensitive.”

Russell has been slowly adjusting to all this newfound attention. Any other 20-something might party with friends to celebrate—and take plenty of pictures for Instagram while doing it—but she prefers to keep her world small and quiet. “All I want to be doing is sleeping and playing the harp and sitting in the sun,” she says.

[From Harper’s Bazaar via GFY]

The harp is a pretty random selection, I think. If I were going to choose an instrument to learn it would probably be the bass guitar. But Taylor’s reason for choosing the harp was pretty generous and considerate of her neighbors. Harp sounds are pretty and if I’d heard one of my NYC neighbors learning the harp I probably would have been fine with it. But harps are pretty big, right? I don’t think anyone in my building could have fit one comfortably in their apartment. Though anything can become annoying if you hear too much of it. I also suspect she chose it a bit because it’s an offbeat choice. Taylor’s Canadian, but comes across pretty downtown/Brooklyn hipster/artist in the profile. She seems a bit self-serious, but ultimately harmless and devoted to her art, whether it be acting or the harp. Taylor is also a few years older than I thought, at 28. The article is worth a read and the fashion is on point. I particularly like the mesh green dress and the purple flower knuckle accessories.

Embed from Getty Images

Photos credit: Blaine Ohigashi/Avalon, Koi Sojer/startraksphoto.com/Cover Images, Getty and Harper’s Bazaar via Instagram

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14 Responses to “Taylor Russell learned how to play the harp over lockdown”

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  1. Normades says:

    I dunno. If you were a beginner and playing the same thing over and over that could be pretty annoying. But Creep on the harp sounds pretty cool.

  2. CidySmiley says:

    She has such an “it girl” vibe!

    I have to say tho, every time I’ve seen her on like a red carpet I feel like her stylist did her wrong. She’s always in something just a little ~ off, but she can pull it off.

    Also aren’t there dating rumors about her and unibrow French last name?

    • Yup, Me says:

      There are, but they are also co-starring in the film that is getting her attention so are the rumors true or are they just to boost the film?

      • sunny says:

        Yeah but I can’t see it- I think it is publicity. In interviews and through socials TC gives off vibes of very into her, almost like Tom Holland pre-dating Zendaya. She gives off vibes of I wish my friend didn’t have this crush on me. He’s sweet but annoying”

        Taylor is a very talented actress- just wonderful in Bones & All, and especially great in Waves(though I don’t love Trey Shultz and that movie is problematic).

        I’m hoping we see her do comedy/something lighter because I would love to see if her range extends beyond drama.

  3. Kate says:

    I think an “It Girl” would have a lot more than 500k followers on Instagram.
    She’s beautiful though.

  4. lemontwist says:

    I didn’t know of Taylor before this article but just searched her and agree that her style is amazing!

    Learning to play the harp is pretty cool and it sounds meaningful for her. There’s such a unique & kind of ‘romantic’ physicality to playing a harp, I can dig it. Learning to play the cello has always been one of my dreams, for both the sound and the physical technique.

    The only two harp players I can name are Mary Lattimore and Joanna Newsom and I enjoy both their music. Gotta say after reading this I really want to hear Taylor’s cover of ‘Creep’ lol.

  5. Seaflower says:

    She played Judy Robinson in the Netflix Lost in Space remake and was great in that.

  6. Queen Meghan's Hand says:

    Her overposing makes it look like she’s deeply uncomfortable.

  7. AngryJayne says:

    I love the harp choice (and Radiohead’s Creep is one of my favorite songs). But if I’d had the time off (pharmacy/essential worker) to reflect and work on myself at the time… I probably would’ve taken up the piano again.

  8. L says:

    As a classically trained harpist with a Master’s degree in harp performance, I’m here to say yeah that’s cool. But the harp is extremely difficult to play well. And btw, I love Radiohead and I’ve played Radiohead transcriptions so I dig that vibe for sure!

  9. SourcesclosetoKate says:

    I wish I could play, it’s my favorite sound

  10. koro says:

    Doing anything well is difficult but the harp is great because you don’t have to play particularly well for it to sound good! I’ve been playing Celtic harp since my 20s when I bought one on a whim, with no musical background at all. I’m still not great but love it. Highly recommend this instrumen to anyone!!

  11. Darcy P says:

    Is anyone else thinking there’s a striking similarity to Jenna Ortega in the headline picture? I had to double-take it, because I thought the headline had the wrong name for a minute.