Thursday September 28th, 2023
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Lebanese Band Taxi 404 Release Weightless Acoustic EP ‘Virgule’

The Beirut-based alt-pop group release their most intimate work to date in this four-track EP.

Zaid Kreshan

With their complementary blend of indie pop and French rap-inspired vocals, Taxi 404 has established a signature style for themselves, which they often use to explore intimate and vulnerable lyrical themes. Created by childhood friends Aminn and Andy Rustom, the band has been building a loving fan base since their emergence in the Lebanese music scene in 2017.

Weaving falsetto and baritone vocals together, Aminn and Andy’s complimentary vocal styles provide a striking contrast to one another. The resulting vocal harmonies act as a main pillar of the band’s sound, which has found its way into the hearts of listeners around the region.

Following up their 2022 single ‘Tout Doucement’, the band released a four-track acoustic EP ‘Virgule’, taking their sonic stylings into more tender territory. The EP is a slow-paced and calming work, which incorporates elements of sound design and audio manipulation, such as oscillating delay feedback and processed sonic atmospheres to add an additional dimension to the stripped-down instrumentation. The album also features contributions from Joy Moughanni, who provided additional production and engineering, and Marwan Tohme, who provided guitar performances.

The track Donne Moi (Ton Cœur) starts things off with an arpeggiated guitar progression setting the scene for the rest of the EP. Softly plucked strings resonate with deep and sultry vocals as we are met with the track’s first verse. Here, the lines between rap and alternative vocal performance are blurred as a teetering melody guides us into the singer-songwriter-sounding chorus.

Les Saisons offers a more mellow chord progression, accented by grainy textures and repeating echoes. This track sounds more optimistic than the previous one, with warmer melodies and playful production such as the high-pitched guitar harmonics decorating the soundscape. Vocally, the first leg of the track carries a sing-along quality, while the second half features more of a spoken-word delivery style. Vocalists Aminn and Andy eventually come together, singing octaves-apart harmonies to reinforce the track’s gentle melody.

In a more layered production style, 'J’ai Rien Choisi' features more active guitar work with an additional electric guitar performance, adding nuance to the slow-paced chord progression. Where as 'Au Bord De Moi' hones in on a dreamier sonic quality through airy string-pads.

‘Virgule’ stands out as Taxi 404’s most intimate release to date, offering a weightless sonic experience brought to life by anharmonic spoken-word sections that contrast the serenity of the EP’s more melodic segments.

Listen to the full album here: