Taxiway began as a lo-fi bedroom solo pop project in early 2020. The idea came in late 2019 from a Spotify playlist Taxiway founder Mike Aurand created to listen to while traveling. Aurand says, “My wife Emily and I used to strategically choose which song we’d each listen to while our plane was taking off. It was a sort of ritual for us, the official start of whatever trip we were taking.” The comprised playlist consisted of chill electronica, trip-hop, jazz, and occasional singer/songwriter tunes. Aurand says, “I initially planned to make instrumental music that resembled the songs on my travel playlist, songs to listen to while the plane taxied down the runway, the quiet, tense moment before takeoff. When the pandemic hit, I decided to keep my mind occupied by writing real songs rather than just making instrumental loops. I began missing the thrill of traveling, which brought new significance to the name.” He drew from influences like Bjork, The Postal Service, and The XX and began recording in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since Aurand shared a small one-bedroom apartment with his wife, who was studying for her bar exam only ten feet away, he had to figure out creative ways to make music without disturbing her. He recorded his vocal parts in a hushed manner, softly crooning into the microphone rather than singing loudly and forcefully. Gently strummed guitar replaced the abrasive hitting of the past. He omitted distortion pedals and power chords altogether in favor of reverb and delay effects. The resulting sound was unlike anything he’d previously recorded. He released a four-track self-titled EP of songs from those bedroom recording sessions.
Then something happened in late 2020 that changed things: A vaccine was approved, an actual *end* to the pandemic seemed possible, and Aurand’s musician friends started chatting about performing live again in 2021. Aurand scrapped the EP and started from scratch. He sent the demos to his two friends, Joseph Jared (bass) and Caila Singleton (drums). They played their first show as a three-piece band at the Springwater Supper Club on July 21, 2021, which also happened to be Aurand’s three-year wedding anniversary. Their album, Absence, is set for release on November 5, 2021.