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Moon Taxi’s Let the Record Play

Local band Moon Taxi takes flight with their latest album.

Written By:  Nathan Diller

Photographers:  Harper Smith

Over the past few years, Moon Taxi has literally taken off. The Nashville-based band has spent the majority of their time touring the world and building a deeply devoted fan-base, to which bassist Tommy Putnam credits their formative years in Music City.

“Knowing that it’s the best of the best here, in all regards, you have to be the best, or as good as you possibly can at what you do so you can make a mark,” he says. “We always felt like if we could get crowds and a fan base here, we could do that anywhere. It’s kind of one of those things, like, just from the very beginning, we knew that there was no room for a bad show in Nashville.”

Their practice has paid off, and the group, which also consists of lead singer Trevor Terndrup, guitarist Spencer Thomson, keyboardist Wes Bailey, and drummer Tyler Ritter, recently signed their first major label deal with RCA Records. On their new album, Let the Record Play, they’re doubling down on the groovy, alt-rock sound that made their name, with lively horn parts and beats big enough to make even the most stoic concertgoer move their feet.

Produced by Thomson, who also produced their 2013 LP, Mountains Beaches Cities, the album was put together by the bandmates, running melody and lyric ideas by each other before setting up in a studio to record for a little more than a week. Lead single, “Two High,” finds the band at their most topical and was written just after the Women’s March earlier this year.

“Trevor called me, and he was a little bit worried about the future of the country,” Thomson says. “And I said, ‘Well, Trevor, this is the time when artists kind of capture the moment and the vibe of the country and the people and the culture and turn it into a song.’”

The group tackles myriad topics, though. “Not Too Late” is a call for mindfulness: “I don’t want to say it’s about time management, but it’s more about not missing the moment,” Putnam says. And “The Way” was written about one of one of Bailey’s friends who has routinely run marathons while battling cancer.

Putnam is especially proud of this record and is excited that, with RCA, they are able to share it from their biggest platform yet. “It’s been a lot of support that we’ve never had outside of our management and agents,” he says. “Just a whole group of team members that are willing to play ball.”

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