Taxi Taxi! are Swedish twins Miriam and Johanna Eriksson Berham, and if the six tracks of their self-titled debut EP are anything to go by, we?ll hear from them a lot in the future. The sisters, who are supposedly only 17 years old and one of whom wears a red scarf on the inner sleeve pic, command astonishing songwriting skills and beautiful voices. In recent weeks I?ve come back to this CD again and again. Chances are that this will be a crucial part of my summer soundtrack. Even if I think the band name is stupid.
The sisters? carefully arranged duets are model examples of lean instrumentation, relying on gently picked acoustic guitar or lofty piano. Sometimes, as in ?Heart?, accordion or glockenspiel chime in, but only to point out that they?re otherwise absent, allowing the sisters? voices to breathe. The ep is predominantly about these vocals, which aren?t quite as memorable as Joanna Newsom?s or Susanna?s (of Susanna and the Magical Orchestra) but definitely aspire to get there. In songs like ?Mary? or the opener ?All I Think Of?, the melodies on ?Taxi Taxi? are remarkably mature, displaying an emotional intelligence that is also present in the two voices.
Bearing in mind what giant leap Joanna Newsom took from her debut to ?Ys? ? both in terms of voice and songwriting -, this short debut is a promise indeed. And Taxi Taxi! will indeed have to develop if they want to make a lasting impression in a field that is so densely populated by remarkable talent (after all, there are not only Joanna and Susanna but also the likes of Samara, Laura, Nina, Marissa, Soccer Committee and CocoRosie to be reckoned with). The qualities of ?Taxi Taxi!? are obvious but more distinctive songwriting and some even more radically reduced (or enhanced) instrumentation will be necessary for the twins to really join the phalanx mentioned above.
These 18 minutes straight out of the genre-defining bedroom have been produced by Bj?rn Yttling of Peter, Bj?rn and John. The result, however, is quite a distance away from that trio?s indie pop. Yttling and the Efterklang people ? on whose Danish label the ep is released ? know very well what talent they have discovered. 8/10 -- Jan-Arne Sohns (31 July, 2007)