For some reason that will never be quite clear to me, I've never posted about The Morning Benders. Ever. Aside from "Excuses", played during late nights in Turntable.fm, I had little experience with the indie pop trio until a random conversation with The Head and the Heart's Josiah Johnson after a free acoustic live set The Head and the Heart did back in the fall. I was telling him how I had an epiphanic moment hearing their songs all stripped down and cited Sondre Lerche's Heartbeat Radio as another example, he offered up his own: The Morning Benders' cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams". Which started a month-long obsession with The Morning Benders. And still I said nothing about them. Until now. Thanks to Jorge at Listen Before You Buy.
The Morning Benders are no longer The Morning Benders. Due to the trio being very considerate of international misunderstandings and the like, they've changed their name to something much less possibly offensive ("Bender" is a derogatory term for homosexuals over in Europe) to Pop Etc. To ring in the new name change, the trio have offered a free mixtape, that's pretty tops. It's very much pop if that's your thing and if it's not, listen to it anyway as it's very good.
Two of my favorite songs on the mixtape happen to be "Hungry Like The Wolf" (which is not a Duran Duran cover - yeah, I was surprised too) and "Calling Your Bluff" which might arguably be best songs to come off of the mixtape. The mixtape relies a lot on pop conventions including a permanent sore-spot for me in its use of autotune but it's all forgivable considering frontman Chris Chu has already proven himself a more than adequate singer. "Hungry Like The Wolf" with it's breakneck pace is an example of what good we can expect out of Pop Etc if they stay this overtly poppy. Meanwhile "Calling Your Bluff" will remind fans of the band they've come to love. It's slower and sweeter and built on a pretty great beat (and keeps the autotune to an absolute minimum).
Hear my two favorite tracks from the mixtape right here:
And if you like this, make sure to check out the full mixtape here.
(via Listen Before You Buy)