Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Morning Benders

Finding a new sound in a ‘Big Echo’

While “Talking Through Tin Cans”, the debut 2008 release from the California indie rockers The Morning Benders garnered a bevvy of comparisons to similar retro-minded bands, this year's follow up “Big Echo” found them discovering their own sound. The jangly, sunny acoustic guitar pop gave way in part to a slower, more contemplative approach. “Sometimes people are smart enough to take us on our own terms, other people feel the need to give another band as a reference point,” says songwriter and frontman Christopher Chu. “It doesn't really matter to us as long as people are finding a way to our music.”

Coupled with the more languorous, sonically dense tracks like “Mason Jar”, wistfully romantic fifties vocal pop songs like “Excuses” show that the band is still pulling from the past for inspiration. Most people know and love those songs, even if they don't know who they are listening to,” Chu says of the hits of a bygone era. “When I wrote 'Excuses' there was a kind of feeling and nostalgia I was after, and to me, that feeling was best captured by certain aspects of those fifties tunes.”

As The Morning Benders' profile continues to grow, it's likely the ambitious young band will continue to explore the boundaries of their warm, harmony-rich blueprint. Chu says he intends to make full use of the wider production opportunities that have become available since he first started out. “There was a turning point for me when I became more interested in production. Ever since then I haven't been able to listen to music the same way. I can't separate my songs from the way they are going to be produced. Instead of just writing melodies and lyrics on a guitar, I just as often write a melody with a texture or groove or space in mind.”

A relocation to the east coast may have an effect on their iconic and breezy California outlook as well, although that remains to me be seen, says Chu. “I have no idea what our sound is going to change into. I wouldn't say it's going to suddenly change into an "East Coast" sound. We actually haven't spent any time in the east because we've been on the road this entire year non stop. All I can say for sure is that we know we want to try something different for the next album.” 

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