Starting as a mere thought bubble for a lo-fi, bedroom pop outlet for lead singer Mike Aurand, Taxiway came to life in the spring of 2021.
Today, the unique indie band consists of members Emily Guthrie—Mike’s wife—on drums, and another husband/wife duo, Joseph and Emily Jared, on lead guitar and bass respectively. After releasing their debut album, Absence, in 2021, the Nashville band has been diligently working towards the release of their next album, This Is Permanent.
Set to drop on December 1st via Watch It Burn Records, the 9-track album serves as something of a hybrid between post rock, dream pop, and Americana, with a sprawling list of influences from The National to Jeff Buckley. This collection of songs navigates “the juxtaposition between exploring the world and experiencing its wonders offset by the knowledge of having to live your everyday life.” It tells its story through dynamic vocals, carefully curated instrumentals, and a rich sense of sonic creativity.
The album’s opening track, “Valencia,” a somewhat whimsical ballad, invites the listener in with soft guitar rhythms and smooth vocals. Lines like “Oh Valencia / Nothing’s been the same since we lost touch / I’d give anything to feel the rush of you again,” quickly reel in the listener into the album’s world of loss and love. The mellow nature of this track sets the tone beautifully for what’s to come.
The second track, “A Deeper Shade of Blue,” was actually one that Aurand had brought first to a previous band, then recorded later with Taxiway. The song is made up of a “complicated internal rhyme scheme detailing how heartbroken art can sometimes come up short, when you need an outlet for your intense emotion but are unable to find one.” It contrasts its catchy, upbeat rhythm with gentle vocals and tasteful harmonies, making for an alluring blend.
The album’s fourth track and lead single, “Sans Serif,” is an honest, vulnerable tune about the changing dynamics of Nashville and its increased gentrification. The song is summed up well by its refrain, “Am I losing my edge in this world with no edges at all?”, as it deals with the feeling of “selling out” as an artist contrasted with the “selling out” of your own city. The introspective nature of this song details the connection between one’s own identity and their environment, and each line drives that point home further.
The sixth track, “Stay Wild,” is as fun as it is pleasing to the ear. It “celebrates wanderlust, embedding punk rock lyrics into a dreamy mid-tempo sway with a lovely circular guitar figure,” keeping the listener’s attention as the record shifts from one relatable topic to another. Lyrics like “I should act my age, but I want to stay wild forever” relay how fleeting yet important the freedom of youth is, urging the listener to think about their own lives and where they are within them.
The final song on the record, “Caffeine Jitters,” is a sweet and satisfying conclusion to the album. Its feel is quiet and fulfilling, packed with soft guitar lines and raw, smooth vocals. Lines like “Everything will be fine / I’m gonna quit this habit someday / Everything will be fine / Gotta stop doing this to myself,” move the album from observing the world to understanding one’s place within it in a very relatable way.
While Absence established the Taxiway sound, This Is Permanent takes that blueprint and expands upon it, as the band evolves into new but familiar territory.