the morning benders
Lydia caught you up with The Morning Benders/POP ETC situation last month. Basically, The Morning Benders changed their name to POP ETC, creating a new image and sound, after discovering “benders” is a derogatory term for gay people in certain parts of Europe. Initially, I felt bad for the members of The Morning Benders. They had finally made it–broken through to a massive audience–only to realize that they had been unintentionally offending the biggest fans of their music. I’m realizing now that starting over for this Californian band could be a good thing. It seems that under the POP ETC name Chris Chu and Co. have been given the unique opportunity to move their sound away from the baroque pop of The Morning Benders that fans had come to expect and towards the lighter, more eclectic pop sound that they want to make. With a debut mixtape already released and an album slated for June 12th, POP ETC are looking to regain their legions of old fans and gain new ones in the process. It’s working so far.
Earlier today the trio released the music video for the lead single “Live It Up” off their debut album. It is simple–yes–but something about Chris Chu’s facial expressions as he sings his tune is freaking entrancing (no homo). The song itself is a delightful sort of R&B/electro-pop fusion (reminiscent of Discovery) which is probably why they label their music as “pop etc” (no homo).
It was announced yesterday that The Morning Benders have changed their name to POP ETC. They released a full explanation here, but in short, the decision was centered around the fact that in certain areas of the world, “benders” is a derogatory term for gays. Ever mindful of their surroundings, The Morning Benders realized that they were unable to go on using a disrespectful name, so they decided to start anew after existing as The Morning Benders for 7 years, and this time go with POP ETC. In their own words, “we believe that it will only lead to new growth and excitement.”
All respectable moves aside, what matters most to the band is the music that they’re making. And they just released a mixtape yesterday for us to oooh and ahhh over. Stream the whole mixtape below, and be sure to listen extra closely to “Halfway to Heaven.” So. Damn. Good.
I’m halfway to Heaven and I don’t know if this is where I’m supposed to go
Hello, friends. Happy Saturday! This is the perfect day for a beautiful song by The Morning Benders, who won my heart with the release of single “Excuses,” and then REALLY got me when they did the video version of that song with artists from all over helping perfect the song that was already one of the most beautiful I’ve heard in a long time. Chris Chu, lead singer of the group, has said that his only regret about breakthrough album, Echo, was that this song, “Oh Annie,” wasn’t included in the mix.
Hungover? Put this song on repeat. Guarantee you’ll be feeling stellar before you know it.
VIDEO: “Excuses” (The Morning Benders Cover) – The Ice Tray
Remember that video of The Morning Benders teaming up with a ton of other talented San Franciscans to record a live rendition of “Excuses?” If not, here it is. Well, now we have a cover of this song by a duo who go by the name of The Ice Tray. This is absolutely beautiful and calming. Makes me happy to be awake on a Monday morning. Or cozy in bed on a Sunday afternoon. Either, really…because to put it frankly, this song just makes me happy to be alive and with a working set of ears. Absolutely beautiful. It’s quite a task to try to cover The Morning Benders, mainly because the main singer’s voice is spectacular. But I must say, this kid from The Ice Tray has a killer voice. Very smooth!
Anyway, if you’re liking this, you can download the mp3 here. I wouldn’t recommend passing on this one.
Another one from Yours Truly, here’s a video called “In Rhythm,” which features The Love Language. I absolutely love this band after seeing the lead singer live. His voice is so pure. Among the likes of The Morning Benders, and dare I say…Jeff Buckley?
The recording of “Excuses” – The Morning Benders and The Echo Chamber Orchestra
The Morning Benders released their EP, Big Echo (produced by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor), today, and “Excuses” is the opening track. This performance is brilliant. Basically, The Morning Benders teamed up with all different musicians out of San Francisco (including Christopher Owens of Girls, John Vanderslice, and more, stuffed them all into a small studio to create an orchestra-like sound, and recorded this beautiful song. The idea was originally created by Phil Spector…see note below: