Nashville, Tenn.-based indie rock band Moon Taxi has had a busy summer and is heading into an even busier fall.
After playing its brand of dreamy, hands-in-the-air tunes for crowds at Governor’s Ball, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, Moon Taxi is ready to drop a new album Friday, Oct. 2.
“Daybreaker,” the band’s third effort, was recorded live at Blackbird Studios in Nashville with Kings of Leon producer Jacquire King.
“I want the listener to feel like they have stayed up all night with someone and that they are the only ones in the world experiencing the new day dawn,” frontman Trevor Terndrup wrote on the band’s website.
Moon Taxi is Terndrup, guitarist Spencer Thomson, bassist Tommy Putnam, keyboardist Wes Bailey and drummer Tyler Ritter.
So far, Moon Taxi has released three songs in advance of the new album, including “All Day All Night,” an anthem about people living crazy, around-the-clock lives.
The band plays at the Music Farm Columbia on Saturday, Sept. 26.
“This is the first club date we’ve done in Columbia since I think 2012, so we’re really excited,” Thomson said in a phone interview. “We’ve had fans travel from Columbia for a lot of shows in North (Carolina) and South Carolina, so we’re happy to finally come to them and play in Columbia.”
Before Moon Taxi takes the stage, Go Columbia spoke with Thomson about the recording process for “Daybreaker,” his favorite thing about the album, and why it’s the band’s best one to date.
Q: What have been some of the highlights of playing the festival circuit this summer?
We played the Pemberton Music Festival in Pemberton, British Columbia. It was our first time up in Canada, and it was just really beautiful. We got to take a helicopter ride through the mountains and landed on a glacier. It’s an otherworldly place up there.
And Lollapalooza was great, although it was a little bizarre because our set got rained out and didn’t end up happening until about three hours later. But that was one festival where we were actually able to hang out for the full three days and go see some of the other bands, rather than being in and out. We saw Paul McCartney, Tame Impala and War on Drugs.
Q: How are you transitioning into fall shows and prepping for the new album release?
The festivals have been a nice way to test some of the new material on really big stages. And festival crowds are usually half fans and half people who haven’t heard of you yet, so it’s a good testing ground to get people’s reactions. And the reaction has been great so far. The new songs have been getting the strongest reactions out of anything in our sets, which is good to see. Even songs that haven’t been released yet as recordings have been getting good responses. So we’re super excited and getting more comfortable with the material.
I think it’s the best representation of what we are as a live band and what we are as a studio band coming together.
Spencer Thomson, Moon Taxi guitarist
Q: Did you get any break between the summer and fall tours?
We were were home for a little bit. We’ll typically go out for four or five days and then go home. Nashville is centrally located to a lot of places, so we don’t necessarily have to go out on the road for months at a time. Whenever we go out West in November, we don’t have any choice but to go out and stay for a while, but we’re one of those bands that’s kind of always on tour. We did spend March, April and May in studio mode in Nashville working on the record, so after that, we were ready to go out and do some playing.
Q: You’ll be in Columbia just about a week before “Daybreaker” drops. Will you be playing new tracks at the show?
Yeah. There are three songs that are already released. Then, depending on the night, we will play maybe two to four other songs from the album. We’re still getting it figured out for ourselves, too. There’s always a little bit of a learning curve taking songs from the record to the stage.
Q: The recording process for “Daybreaker” was more of a live-based approach than past efforts, right?
Yes. For the past two albums, we spent a lot of time building the songs up piece by piece as opposed to getting together in a full band scenario and playing. This time, we spent a full month in a big studio where we could all be in there at the same time, hearing how it would sound as a whole band playing. It was a live approach, but I think if you listen to our last album and then “Daybreaker,” it’s a nice transition. It’s not a huge departure. It’s a continuation.
Q: What made the band want to go in that direction?
We wanted to do something fresh for ourselves creatively so nothing gets routine. That way, you’re forced to come up with new ideas. At the same time, I think people have a strong reaction to our live shows, and we wanted to try to bring a little more of that element to our studio recordings. I think it’s the best representation of what we are as a live band and what we are as studio band coming together.
Q: What do you think fans are going to enjoy most about “Daybreaker?”
I think this is our best songwriting to date. Subject-wise and lyrically, the songs are really relatable. I think fans are going to enjoy the overall vibe. It’s super easy to listen to, but it still has depth and meaning behind all of it.
If you go
DATE: Saturday, Sept. 26
TIME: 9 p.m.
LOCATION: Music Farm Columbia, 1022 Senate St.
TICKETS: $21 in advance