The Morning Benders “Big Echo”

Why did it take me so long to review this album? Well I was too busy enjoying it, that’s why.

The Morning Benders have taken a new approach on their sophomore record, Big Echo (+1/Roughtrade). With producer and Grizzly Bear cohort Chris Taylor in tow, the band went into the studio last year to record an album that has finally launched their career into the spotlight.

While their first record Talking Through Tin Cans (+1) brought out the sweet, sugary, indie pop side of the band, this time they are headed in a different direction. This is indeed four guys who have grown up drastically since the last time they went into the studio. The songs show a more mature side of the group and it seems natural and effortless.

The album opens up with the first two singles, “Excuses,” and “Promises.” Both are only the beginning of what is to come on this record. If you were lucky enough to catch singer Chris Chu’s solo performance at CMJ 2009, you were able to see some of these songs including a special teenaged filled background vocal performance of “Excuses.”

“Wet Cement,” brings a bit of the first record in with it. It’s a very mellow and adorable song to say the least. One thing that stands out even more on this album is Chu’s voice. It is dreamy, smooth and flawless. This is more often than not hard to find these days. It’s as if his voice has the capability to bring you back into the 60’s. One of my personal favorite tunes on the record is “Cold War (Nice Clean Fight),” which clocks in under the two minute mark. This is a stomp your feet, clap your hands along song with it’s infectious beat.

“Pleasure Sighs,” “Hand Me Downs,” and “Mason Jar,” bring out a more experimental sound in the band. A little pyschadelic if you will, which the band has never really hit on before. Though somehow it fits and they manage to pull it off. You can really see Taylor’s influence in these songs.

“All Day Day Light,” contains a bit of an 80’s meets 60’s vibe to it. Take that for a leap of decades, right? It flows perfectly and trust me, it will not be leaving your head anytime soon. This is one to put on repeat. The album ends with the breezy “Stitches,” and “Sleeping In,” which appears to draw influences from the Beach Boys in the most flattering way.

Big Echo has launched The Morning Benders from small time indie band to full time buzz band. There is bound to be a lot more where that comes from so be on the lookout. If you haven’t checked out this record yet, do not hesitate. It has the makings to be an indie classic.

The Morning Benders – “Dreams” (Fleetwood Mac Cover) by modernmysteryblog

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Secondhand Sunday: The Morning Benders “Waiting For a War”


What better way to start Spring off then with some old school Morning Benders. There’s nothing we can really say about this song from the poppy (former) Californians, but it’s ohhhhh so good. This week’s edition of Secondhand Sunday is their track for “Waiting For a War.” Get ready to start dancing around your apartement. Yea, the Morning Benders just make you want to do that, don’t they?

The Morning Benders Release Friend Filled Video for “Excuses”

The Morning Benders have certainly come up in the world. You don’t have to search hard on Modern Mystery to find out that we’ve loved this band since day one. I personally recall listening to the band for the first time when one of their first videos for “Waiting for a War,” came onto the scene from their debut album Talking Through Tin Cans (+1 Music) in 2008. For most people, the guys have been a bit off the radar until recently. Now they seem to be exploding everywhere we look.  Their newest record titled Big Echo (Rough Trade) will be out on March 9th and is produced by no other than Grizzly Bear’s own Chris Taylor.

The Morning Benders just put out an amazing performance video of their new song ” Excuses,” which singer Chris Chu performed at CMJ during his very intimate Lit Lounge performance with a bunch of very talented teenagers. In the video for “Excuses”  the band was joined with the help of various people and friends (spot Chris from Girls? or the sensational John Vanderslice?) along with the Echo Chamber Orchestra. The Morning Benders are about to become your new favorite band, if they aren’t already. Check out the video and tour dates below including shows with Surfer Blood and The Miniature Tigers!

The Morning Benders on Tour 
02/25 – New York, New York @ Housing Works (Hype Machine CD Swap)
02/27 – Brooklyn, New York @ Market Hotel #
03/10 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania @ Johnny Brendas
03/11 – Washington DC @ Black Cat
03/12 – Chapel Hill, North Carolina @ Local 506
03/13 – Atlanta, Georgia @ Drunken Unicorn
03/15 – Birmingham, Alabama @ The Bottletree
03/17 – Austin, Texas (SXSW)
03/23 – Phoenix, Arizona @ Rhythm Room
03/25 – Los Angeles, California @ The Troubador
03/26 – San Diego, California @ The Casbah
03/27 – Costa Mesa, California @ Detroit Bar
03/28 – Santa Barbara, California @ Muddy Waters
03/30 – San Francisco, California @ The Independent
04/01 – Portland, Oregon @ Holocene
04/02 – Seattle, Washington @ Crocodile Cafe
04/03 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ Media Club
04/05 – Provo, Utah @ Club Velour
04/07 – Denver, Colorado @ Hi-Dive
04/09 – Des Moines, Iowa @ The Vaudeville Mews
04/10 – Ames, Iowa @ The Maintenance Shop
04/11 – Rock Island, Illinois @ Huckleberry’s Pizza (Daytrotter Presents)
04/12 – Chicago, Illinois @ Schubas
04/14 – Toronto, Ontario @ The Drake Hotel
04/15 – Montreal, Quebec @ La Sala Rossa
04/16 – Winooski, Vermont @ The Monkey House
04/17 – Boston, Massachusetts @ TT The Bear’s
04/22 – New York, New York @ Mercury Lounge

# w/ Surfer Blood

Chris Chu of The Morning Benders @ CMJ, Living Room, NY- October 22,2009

Chris Chu of the Morning Benders @ CMJ 2009 by ModernMystery.

Chris Chu is not only the charasmatic lead singer of California’s indie-pop group The Morning Benders, but he has also taken on the role lately of beginner solo artist. Chu performed to a packed house on Thursday night at the Living Room during CMJ. The Morning Benders who are set to release their sophmore album Big Echo (Plus One Music) early next year, sent him out to showcase the new tracks. Chu, who already has an unforgettable voice, shown a new light to the upcoming songs.

The Morning Benders have managed to make an easy transition from the first album Talking Through Tin Cans, maintaining their sugary pop hooks; the songs come off well acoustically which only left everyone in the room hankering for the real thing. Amongst the new songs, Chu pulled off superb covers of Radiohead,  Phil Spektor and Neutral Milk Hotel cover. With the help of a local teen choir on background vocals and an enthusiastic crowd, he ended the night with a new tune.  Clearly, we’re all ready for the album to drop.

Watch live video from Chris Chu’s CMJ Performance!

SEE MORE SHOW PHOTOS AFTER THE JUMP

The Morning Benders Prep New Album

Some lovely news this week from camp Morning Benders. The band is set to release their second full length titled ‘Big Echo.’  The album was recorded after the brief winter tour this year with Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor. ‘Wow’ to say the least. Though there is no official release date for the record, we are sure it will be out on +1 Records by the end of the year, by early next year (according to singer Chris Chu). The Morning Benders are also taking their show on the road for the first time to Europe this summer along with a handful of shows in the West Coast (even one with Beach House). The band will be playing a few festivals in the UK with Lily Allen, Wilco and Grizzly Bear, a lineup not to be missed!

Check out The Morning Benders track titled ‘Hand Me Downs’  on their MYSPACE

Tour Dates:

UK/Europe Dates:
Aug 11 2009   8:00P
Dublin Castle 
London

Aug 12 2009  8:00P
Old Blue Last 
London

Aug 13 2009  8:00P
The Boogaloo 
London

Aug 14 2009  12:00P
Way Out West 
Göteborg, Sweden
http://www.wayoutwest.se/

Aug 15 2009  12:00P
Oya Festival (John Dee) 
Oslo, Norway
http://oyafestivalen.com/

Aug 30 2009  12:00P
SF Outside Lands 
San Francisco, CA

Sep 19 2009  8:00P
MusicfestNW Berbati’s Pan (w/ Beach House!) 
Portland, Oregon

The Morning Benders, ‘Heavy Hearts’ Live

The Morning Benders was one of our favorite new bands of 2008, and still Talking Through Tin Cans is in heavy rotation almost a year after it’s release. Is there a catchier record out there? Not that we know of.

The word on the street is the band is already in the process of recording their second album titled Big Echo that may be out by this year’s end. Nice. The Morning Benders are one of those timeless bands. They have a bit of 60’s vibe to them and the most brilliant harmonies we’ve heard in a long time.

I believe we have shared this months ago, but rewatching it today made it seem so new. Its our video of The Morning Benders doing their rarely performed song ‘Heavy Hearts,’ at their Puma Instore at CMJ 2008. The Morning Benders were also the first band we made cookies for….

Check out the video on our VIMEO  page

Check out our Band Interview page for our talk with The Morning Benders.

The band is also doing a few dates with John Vanderslice in May

5.17.09 The Partisan (w/ John Vanderslice)
5.27.09 Velour (w/ John Vanderslice)
5.28.09 Kilby Court (w/ John Vanderslice)
5.29.09 Hi-Dive (w/ John Vanderslice)