The Morning Benders are a different class of pop band now that they've recorded Big Echo. The stunning new album, out March 9, was co-produced with Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear, who helped elevate the local act's sound into something wonderfully airy and ebullient. Big Echo is so sweet and upbeat, my one criticism of the record is that the songs move by too fast...these are the kinds of lush pop tunes you want to linger inside of for a while as they expand all around you.
To see a little of what I mean, check out this video sent our way by Yours Truly, who shot the Morning Benders back in December at Different Fur Studios in San Francisco. As frontman Chris Chu explains in the opening of the clip, he was very inspired by Phil Spector's Wall of Sound style, and wanted to also "pile 50 people" into a studio and see how big they could sound. So the Morning Benders grabbed a bunch of buddies, who they tagged the Big Echo Orchestra, and had Yours Truly film the video for "Excuses," a song about what happens to love with someone as you both grow older. (Look for cameos from John Vanderslice and Chris Owens of Girls in the Orchestra).
Between this new Morning Benders record and the most recent releases by the Dodos and Girls, San Francisco pop is hitting the national radar in a big way. I'm really excited to see what happens to the Morning Benders from here--and to hear Big Echo live, beyond the video clip.