Wednesday, October 26, 2011

NYC's BLACK TAXI ready for another trip... Second album due Jan. 2012!

"If New York's music scene were summed up in two words, they would be BLACK TAXI. Kind of dirty, a little poppy, and VERY danceable, these Brooklynites fashion some of the most undeniably contagious music around." - The Deli
"Being afraid of cliche, this dirty hipster hesitates to call BLACK TAXI New York's best kept secret, but, sh*t, they just might be." - Dirty F*cking Hipster
"If The Clash and The Talking Heads were to have an offspring, it would be BLACK TAXI." - Performer Magazine
Readies Second Album For January 2012 Release
Announces A Handful of Live Dates

Photo credit: JULIA ZAVE
Click for hi-res
"We can't help but challenge ourselves as musicians, and I think that shows. But we're always asking the question 'Is it a good song'," muses Bill Mayo, guitarist/vocalist for Brooklyn's BLACK TAXI. With the upcoming release of their second album WE DON'T KNOW ANY BETTER on January 14, 2012, these four hyper-talented but synergistically-connected musicians haven't just challenged themselves - they've succeeded as well. "Believe it or not, it's easy to make complicated music. The real challenge is making simple songs that nobody has thought of yet."
The music of BLACK TAXI is a sound that's complex and unique yet universally instantaneous and immediate. Recalling the disjointed melodicism of Modest Mouse, the emotional catharsis of Coldplay, the animated theatricality of Franz Ferdinand and the dynamic beat-driven rock of The Strokes, BLACK TAXI goes beyond the standard line-up of drum, bass, guitar and vocals. Augmenting their instrumentals with carnival drums, glockenspiel, trumpet, keyboards and synths, these four musos bypass musical overload and craft their songwriting on the important backbone of rhythm and melody. "I'm a believer in physical embodiment of rhythm and music," Bill continues. "We dance and jump, gyrate or concentrate in stillness, inhale and exhale, just like the audience." Their much-buzzed about live shows are the perfect balance of exactly that - a give and take with the audience where the band shares the exhilaration of their live performance with everyone watching. "People who see live music like to feel something and express it. Our setlists have ups and downs like a good movie. It's a whole experience."
We Don't Know Any Better
Album Art
Click for hi-res

Click to Listen to "Tightrope"
Recorded at Brooklyn's acclaimed Bunker Studio with producer Aaron Nevezie (The Black Keys, Danger Mouse, Ambulance LTD) at the helm, We Don't Know Any Better is an album rife with textures, sounds, and melodies - from the epic swells of "Hand", the dance stomp of "Friend", the winsome synthpop of "Tell Me What You Need", to the stunning harmonies of the gorgeous folkpop album closer "Hope I Never Know". "As our producer, Aaron brought killer ears, years of experience, and perhaps most importantly, endless ideas to our songs," explains charismatic frontman Ezra Huleatt (vocals, keys, trumpet). "He attended a number of our rehearsals before we booked our studio session and got us thinking in different ways about songs that we thought were complete. In fact, we brought three or four song skeletons to our recording session and those ended up being some of my favorite songs on the album!"
Revolving around the vocal interplay of Ezra and his equally fascinating foil Bill and firmly anchored by Krisana Soponpong (bass) and Jason Holmes (drums, vocals), BLACK TAXI was born in 2007 in Brooklyn, NY. Pulling together their vastly different musical backgrounds - Ezra studied jazz, Bill hiphop/R&B, Krisana 80s synthpop, and Jason orchestral/theater, the band combined their minds and created a style that's uniquely their own. "Our sound is informed by the different musical backgrounds we hail from," explains Ezra. "The catalyst for most of the songs I write is based on personal experience, but the finalized songs are definitely influenced by a balance of our collective skillset versus new ideas/sounds we want to try on."
"This album especially has a lot more electronic elements, which are no doubt inspired by all the electro stuff that's been going on the last decade, like LCD Soundsystem, The Knife, Passion Pit," Bill explains. "But I still listen to Nirvana and Soundgarden." These rather polar influences can be best seen in their first single, "Tightrope", a twitchy and jangly pop gem that showcases the band's artful musicality, something that they don't take for granted. "Part biographical, part talltale, 'Tightrope' works well as a song because it juxtaposes opposites; a sweet bass line with a dark melody, jittery guitar with hard, straight ahead drums," adds Ezra. "I've always had feelings of love/hate toward 'stability' and a skewed idea of what 'home,' means. 'Tightrope' sums up those relationships."
upcoming live dates
Oct 26 - Nashville, TN 12th & Porter
Oct 27 - Fort Worth, TX 8.0
Oct 28 - Dallas, TX Club Dada
Oct 29 - Austin, TX ACL Live-The Zombie Ball

Nov 18 - Albany, NY Jillian's
Nov 19 - Cambridge, MA The Middle East
Dec 10 - Brooklyn, NY Knitting Factory Brooklyn
2009's debut Things of That Nature saw the band break out of the crowded, often times faceless, NYC scene and create a whole scene unto themselves. Selling out venues like NYC's Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge as well as equal-sized venues in cities like Boston and New Orleans, the band's live shows prove to be a major part of their existence. Secret Sound Shop calls the band, "a must see live act... Expect to catch front man Ezra Huleatt daintily darting around the stage (like a gymnast on acid) or pounding enthusiastically on his drum to the chirpy riffs of guitarist Bill Mayo, the funky bass lines of Krisana Soponpong and the precise driving rhythms of Jason Holmes." Joonbug enthuses, "BLACK TAXI are the party. Take one curly-haired, vibrant dance-aholic, a technical guitar genius, an endearingly superb bassist, and a rhythmic God, Chris Martin look-alike drummer, and there you have it. One hell of a party."
"It's hard to say what we actually sound like. Some say they hear The Clash in our music, some say Radiohead, some say Talking Heads," Bill explains of their hard to pin-down sound. "Bands just want their music heard by lots of people. As long as each record is better than the last, I'm happy. If we stop progressing, I'll be wicked annoyed. The quantifiable "success" of an album, like if people enjoy it or we make a couple of bucks, is out of our control. You have to measure your accomplishments against your own artistic goals, not by accolades."
BLACK TAXI is Ezra Huleatt (vocals/keys/trumpet), Bill Mayo (guitar/vocals), Krisana Soponpong (bass), and Jason Holmes (drums/vocals). We Don't Know Any Better was produced by Aaron Nevezie (The Black Keys, Danger Mouse) and will be released on January 14, 2012.

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