The Morning Benders hail from California, which perhaps makes for a fitting explanation for the panoply of trippy studio-pop affectations that grace their latest album Big Echo. The band have always sported a diffident charm, but the new songs seem to have galvanized lead songwriter Christopher Chu into attempting something altogether more adventurous. “Promises” captures a mood of picaresque wonder that is positively jubilant, its torrent of melodies floating ever so effervescently above the steady backbeat. And the laidback ambience clearly plays to the Morning Benders’ strengths, with the readymade sunny feelings of “Promises” coming through ever so perfectly in the lilting rhythms of this humble gem of a pop song.
Here as well is their pretty take on Randy Newman’s “Marie” off The Bedroom Covers, their free album of cover versions released in 2008. Okay, it’s not exactly Dusty Springfield doing “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today”, but still. – keith.