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story.lead_photo.caption Photo courtesy Harper Smith Songs like "Two High," inspired by the push for peace behind the Women's March, and "The Way" -- written for a friend of the band who runs marathons but is also fighting cancer -- both exemplify the positive outlook and energy Moon Taxi puts into the world with their latest album, "Let the Record Play." The group returns to George's Majestic Lounge Feb. 14.

Just days after the Jan. 19 release of the band's fifth studio album, Moon Taxi bass player Tommy Putnam was preparing for a trip to Tampa Bay, Fla., where the Nashville alt-rockers would perform at the NHL All Star game with fellow arena-ready rising musicians Fitz and the Tantrums. "Let the Record Play," Moon Taxi's debut with RCA Records, sees the five-piece exploring new ground in their writing, while simultaneously returning to the familiarity of an internal producer.

"This one was a much more educated, prepared version of (third album) 'Mountains Beaches Cities'," Putnam says of guitarist Spencer Thomson returning to the role of producer/mixer for the new album. "As you get older and get more experience, I think you just kind of do everything a little bit better in a lot of ways. [You know] what works and what doesn't work, and then you add the experience of learning how to work and mix and produce a record -- I think this is the perfect storm come together and this is our best effort yet."


Moon Taxi

with Kalu & The Electric Joint

WHEN — 9 p.m. Feb. 14

WHERE — George’s Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville

COST — $20-$25

INFO — 527-6611,,

Known for their seamless fusion of rock music with pop hooks and infectious '80s synth vibes, plus a high-energy live performance and expansive lighting work, Moon Taxi has quickly grown from a festival favorite to a nationally touring, chart-climbing sensation. Putnam says, though, it's all been baby steps since they got together just over a decade ago.

"When we first started out, I wrote down a whole bunch of goals kind of like in a business plan for us. One of them was playing at Bonnaroo, and one of them was getting a review in Rolling Stone and another was playing on late night TV, and I was like, 'Well, we did all that! We're getting there.' So I guess I'll have to write a new one," he says with a laugh. The only still outstanding goal from Putnam's original list is winning a Grammy, he reveals. "But I really don't care about [awards] anymore. I'm just happy we have a bunch of fans, and I hope our music can continue to spread throughout the world and get our message out."

That message, more apparent on "Let the Record Play" than any of their previous albums, is hope. Though the five-piece didn't set out to make a thematic record, Putnam says, looking back on the project as a whole revealed a group of songs inspired by seeking peace, coming together and finding positive ways of lifting each other up.

NAN What's Up on 02/11/2018

Print Headline: Positive Growth

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