the morning benders, Big Echo. Out 3/9, Rough Trade Records.
This is going to be kind of a big statement, but trust me, I don’t make it without having considered and considered and considered the new record from New-York-via-Berkeley’s the morning benders: I think that album-opener “Excuses” might just be the single most perfect first-week-of-spring-weather song in the history of time and space.
It’s warm, and sweet, and jangly and hopeful in exactly the way I wanted my listening this week (and last week) to be, and I damn near wore out the Rough Trade stream listening to it at work, because it so perfectly suited my mood.
This is a happy summer California surfers album, never mind that I cannot surf, do not know any surfers, and would in my klutziness probably kill myself trying to learn to surf, the first thing I thought of when I heard the opening notes of Big Echo was this photo, right down to the blurry, out-of-focus exhaustedness that an afternoon on the beach can give you.
“Excuses” is the stand-out track, and it’s logical to launch it as the first single, because it is heart-stopping and ear-catching. But the rest of the album is a solid launching pad for a smart young band that doesn’t quite sound like anyone else out there; there’s a sweetness to the layered guitars and Chris Chu’s vocals that gives me a pure, deep-in-my-stomach feeling of happiness. The album is full of sharp and intelligent indie pop writing, heartbreaking lyrics laid over soaring, summer guitar lines.
Which is really all I ever ask from an album released in March, to be perfectly frank. When it’s also excellent, as this one is? That’s just a double bonus.
[the morning benders — “Excuses”] 8MB, .mp3. and i made an excuse/you found another way to tell the truth
They’re playing the 506 on Friday, and I’m wicked excited to see them live.
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