Like many people who follow the local music scene here in San Francisco, I’m eagerly awaiting the sophomore release by San Francisco’s The Morning Benders. The Morning Benders are a a buoyant San Francisco band that makes whimsical, Pet Sounds-influenced pop music. The band consists of Chris Chu (vocals/guitar), Joe Ferrell (guitar/Rhodes), Julian Harmon (drums), and Tim Or (bass). They have been working on the new album, which is titled, Big Echo, in the studio with Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear, but have yet to announce a release date. I had the opportunity to hear a few tracks from Big Echo performed live when they opened for John Vanderslice at the Rickshaw Stop back in May, but since I haven’t heard any of the recordings from the new record, I can only speculate how it will turn out. With that said, I think it will be very good. I had been tempted to wait until the new album came out to write about them, but after further consideration thought: why wait? They have already released a full catalog’s worth of solid releases. In fact, their collection of covers titled The Bedroom Covers (in part to reflect that the tracks were recorded in a bedroom in their apartment), is a fantastic album of lo-fi covers of various great pop songs and is presently available as a free download from The Morning Benders’ website.
On The Bedroom Covers, the Morning Benders tackle a collection of popular singles from a wide variety of sources including Randy Newman, Roy Orbison, the Cardigans, The Crystals, Talking Heads, The Smiths, etc. Some of my personal favorites on the collection include their minimalist, but chirpy takes on “Lovefool,” “He’s a Rebel,” “Dreams,” and an addictive take on the Talking Heads’ “Pull Up the Roots.”
Follow the link above to their website to download the whole album as a .zip file from the band, or use the links below to download and/or sample some of the individual tracks.
The Morning Benders – Cyring (Roy Orbison Cover)
The Morning Benders – Mother & Child Reunion (Paul Simon Cover)
The Morning Benders – Why Don’t They Let Us Fall In Love (the Ronette’s Cover)
The Morning Benders – Lovefool (Cardigans Cover)
The Morning Benders – I Won’t Share You (the Smiths Cover)
The Morning Benders – He’s a Rebel (The Crystals Cover)
The Morning Benders – Marie (Randy Newman Cover)
The Morning Benders – Fools Rush In (Johnny Mercer Cover)
The Morning Benders – Temptation Inside Your Heart (Velvet Underground Cover)
The Morning Benders – Dreams (Fleetwood Mac Cover)
The Morning Benders – Pull Up The Roots (Talking Heads Cover)
The Morning Benders – Caroline, No (Beach Boys Cover)(Remix)
Here is a short video I recorded of their performance opening for John Vanderslice at the Rickshaw in San Francisco back in May of this year:
Head back to eating/sf to read about The Corner…On the Corner (in the Mission). Just in time for Happy Hour!