When Nashville alt-rock staple Moon Taxi met during college at Belmont University, the ambitions and dreams of Trevor Terndrup (vocals), Tommy Putnam (bassist), Spencer Thomson (guitar/producer), Tyler Ritter (drums) and Wes Bailey (keys), centered more heavily on producing genre-melding grooves and enamoring fans with intriguing, uplifting lyrics than on becoming major stars.
For the past decade, Moon Taxi’s members have hustled in the studio and on the road, releasing four independent projects and building a loyal following along the way. Last year, the band told MusicRow they thought, “We were going to be independent artists our whole lives.”
Then they wrote a song called “Two High,” and the song became a major hit, garnering more than 75 million streams to date on Spotify.
“We dropped ‘Two High’ the day after my wife’s birthday so I thought of it as like a birthday present to her, but it ended up being a present to all of us. It just took off like a fire,” recalls Terndrup.
The track was written after the women’s march happened in 2017 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
“I just happened upon the women’s march and was really inspired,” Terndrup told MusicRow. “Really, the concept for “Two High” came about after our keys player was texting somebody. He wrote “too high” and it autocorrected to “two high.” He told me that story, and I was like, ‘Oh, like the peace sign?’ Then the first verse came together really quickly and it was probably the quickest song that we wrote.”
The song’s success caught the attention of numerous major labels, and the band soon became the latest group to sign with RCA Records.
Terndrop says RCA’s illustrious roster was a big draw.
“They were into career rock bands like Cage the Elephant and Walk the Moon, bands we love. Bands that put out albums, not just singles,” he explains.
“Two High” is a centerpiece on Moon Taxi’s debut major label album for RCA, dubbed Let The Record Play. The project released Friday, Jan. 19.
Throughout the success of “Two High,” the band kept writing for their current album, which was essentially completed by the time the ink dried on the band’s RCA contract. Moon Taxi wrote the majority of the songs at Thomson’s house, and tested the material on fans during their fall tour in 2017.
“When you make the demo as you are writing the song, sometimes you have to go back and learn what you wrote and how to play it,” Terndrup recalls.
With the majority of the songs written, the recording sessions that would become Let The Record Play progressed quickly. “We go in with a list of songs and knock them out,” Terndrup says. “We don’t just sit around and wait for inspiration to strike.”
Let The Record Play serves as an apt title for an album that includes both tracks penned with Better Than Ezra’s Kevin Griffin, as well as saxophone work from Too Many Zooz. The band’s 2018 tour plans includes a slot on Tennessee’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in June.
“We did a great job as a home-grown band,” Terndrop says, “but we always want to grow and ascend to the next level. We always want to play for more people.”
To purchase Let The Record Play, visit http://smarturl.it/LetTheRecordPlay
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