Toronto, ON-based duo, TAXED is made up of Thomas Crawford and Max Richard. The two have unveiled their new single, “YE”, which is their third single to be released in advance of their EP, ERA coming out on August 27, 2021.
“YE” is an energetic bass-heavy track with dark undertones and intoxicating melodies. The song tells a story of relying on narcotics to overcome the tribulations of romantic frustration, but also the perils of addiction that come with this form of coping. “YE” opens with soft synths and a tight drum line and slowly progresses into a bold sub-heavy vibe with big vocal harmonies, guitars, and simple but effective piano to accompany. The song then switches with a smooth transition into a softer more melodious outro, complete with lots of vocal layering and calm synths.
Check out the single below, and find out more about TAXED vai our Five Questions With segment.
Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
Yes, hi! We’re Thomas and Max from TAXED, it’s a pleasure.
Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.
Sure, we like to think of our music as a new sound in the alternative genre, although we’ve been compared by some of our listeners with the likes of Tame Impala, Billie Eillish, Gorillaz, and The XX. The music is quite smooth and trippy in its production with a focus on vocal harmonies and tight instrumentals. As for our writing style are always evolving. For our debut project ERA, we had no production experience and wrote the entire project acoustically in our grade 12 guitar class, I think this was a good approach for ERA as it put a focus on the intimacy and vulnerability of the music and lyricism. We’ve since become much more experienced with producing as well as songwriting and have developed our approach into a blend of writing both acoustically, and to the music that we produce.
How have you been keeping creative during the pandemic?
Songwriting is often a reflection of what you’re experiencing at any given moment, so when everything came to a halt because of the pandemic it was certainly challenging to remain creative. Our music is so strongly based around our collaboration as well, so not being able to work with each other in person was tough. That being said it did allow us to develop as artists individually, and focus on other aspects of music that we maybe hadn’t given the same time to previously. While we were working on our debut EP, ERA, our producers recommended that we invest in our own at-home studio setups for making demos and putting down ideas that we could bring into the studio. We were into it and enjoyed making being able to record songs at home, but once the pandemic hit it became an obsession of ours. With all that time at home, we spent countless hours producing, making new ideas and creating Taxed’s new sound. It goes without saying that it has been a very difficult and unmotivating time throughout the pandemic, and so we’ve felt that progressing with music has been an essential tool to distract ourselves and make use of all the hours we would’ve otherwise spent elsewhere.
If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs, which would it be?
I think we’d have to go with Seeing Red. The EP has some more radio-friendly pop-influenced tracks and some other more experimental moments. We feel that Seeing Red is a great in-between that would give a listener the best idea of our sound off just one song.
Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?
We’ve both grown up listening to many Canadian artists, but as for a favorite we’d have to go with River Tiber. River Tiber’s music has been hugely inspirational in our musical endeavours. In fact, I believe one of his singles ‘Deep End’ was what we sent our producers when they asked us for a track to reference the vibe we were going for before we came into the studio. Our sound is quite different from his, but none the less he remains a very big influence on our style both sonically and artistically.
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.