Moon Taxi is an American indie-alternative rock band based in Nashville, Tennessee. The band was founded in 2006 by Trevor Terndrup (vocals, guitar), Tommy Putnam (bass), Spencer Thomson (guitar, programming), Tyler Ritter (drums), and Wes Bailey (keys) while attending Belmont University.
Moon Taxi performing at Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2018
|Origin||Vestavia Hills, Alabama, United States|
Early days and formation of current line-up
Trevor Terndrup and Tommy Putnam attended high school together in Vestavia Hills, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, and played in a bluesy rock group known as Apex during their junior and senior years. Upon graduation in 2002, the two moved to Nashville, Tennessee where they met fellow student and guitarist Spencer Thomson, and drummer David Swan, shortly after their arrival at Belmont University. Together with Thomson, a native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Swan of Atlanta, Georgia, the quartet jammed in freshman dorm rooms, quickly landing a gig as the backing band for a local rap duo. In the school years following, the group performed sparsely around Nashville and in college towns around the Southeast under the name Moon Taxi.
After Swan graduated from Belmont in 2006, he left the band to pursue another career path. Moon Taxi commissioned drummer Tyler Ritter, also of Vestavia Hills, in fall 2006, and the quartet began writing and recording songs for a debut studio release. Keyboardist Wes Bailey, a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, sat in with the band during local shows around the same time, and when Melodica was released in April 2007, Bailey was added as a permanent member, thus completing the current line-up.
Melodica and 12th South Records
Moon Taxi's debut studio effort, Melodica, was recorded in Nashville at Triple House Productions. The album's material is primarily categorized as jam rock and contains the tracks "Gimme a Light" and "Here to Stay". Terndrup, Putnam, Thomson, and Ritter formed 12th South Records, an independent label housed in their 12th Avenue South home.
The release of Live Ride was a precursor to more festival appearances, such as The Hangout Music and Arts Festival (Gulf Shores, Alabama) in 2010 and 2011, Wakarusa in Ozark, Arkansas in 2011, as well as a nationwide tour in 2010 that took the band from Maine to California. The group won the inaugural Music City Mayhem Contest for "Common Ground", which awarded them several songs in brief rotation on Nashville's WRLT Lightning 100.1 FM. Their Hangout Fest performance in 2010 gained them a Best New Jam nod through JamBase.
In 2010, Moon Taxi began writing new material for their second studio LP, Cabaret. The album was recorded at Alex The Great Studios in South Nashville and at See Six Studios, Thomson's home studio. The album was produced primarily by Thomson with the help of Hank Sullivant, a musician/producer from Athens, Georgia, who also sang guest harmony vocals on "Let's Go Back". Cabaret was mixed by Grammy Award-winner Vance Powell (The Raconteurs) at Sputnik Sound in Berry Hill, Tennessee and mastered by Richard Dodd. The track "Square Circles" features a guest appearance by hip-hop artist Matisyahu.
Mountains Beaches Cities
On September 10, 2013, Moon Taxi released its third studio recording, Mountains Beaches Cities, on the band's label, 12th South Records via BMG. The album features 10 unreleased tracks produced by guitarist Spencer Thomson. Mountains Beaches Cities was recorded in Nashville, TN at SonyTree Studios and See Six Studios.
"For their third album, Mountains Beaches Cities, indie rock quintet Moon Taxi explored new landscapes by amping up the speed and turning up the volume," wrote USA Today.
On October 2, 2015, Moon Taxi released its fourth studio album, Daybreaker, on the band's label, 12th South Records via BMG. It was produced by Jacquire King, whose credits include albums by James Bay and Kings of Leon.
Rolling Stone noted: "Over the last few years, Nashville's Moon Taxi have worked their way up from Bonnaroo buzz-band to something approaching Kings of Leon country, playing a pleasingly cross-bred rock." All Day All Night was featured in a McDonald's commercial promoting their new 24-hour breakfast menu.
Let The Record Play
On May 5, 2017, Moon Taxi released the single Two High, which lyrically is "a song about hope," Terndrup told Relix Magazine. "Hope for understanding, hope for acceptance, and hope for our future. We were inspired by the simple and universal peace sign." In September 2017, the band signed with RCA to release their upcoming album. Terndrup also credited the 2017 Women's March as an inspiration for Two High. The song was featured in the 2018 Jeep Compass commercial "Snow." Two High hit number three on the Adult Alternative Songs chart and number one in Triple A airplay.
On November 17, 2017, the band and RCA Records announced a fifth LP to be released on January 19, 2018, Let the Record Play, and also released a single of the same name. The album would be mixed and produced by guitarist Thompson and feature ten tracks. Although the band had been signed to RCA, the album was finished before the signing. On December 20, Moon Taxi announced a "Let The Record Play" tour, playing around the U. S. in February 2018. A separate "Good as Gold" tour happened in fall 2018.
On April 18, 2019, Taxi was announced as the opening act for Day One of the 2019 NFL Draft, located in Nashville. A day later, the band released two singles, "Now's the Time" and "This World".
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