Chris Chu has a point.  As he explains in the video, a lot of bands get pigeonholed into a certain sound when they become successful, and falter from the pressure to come up something better while boxed into one sound. Big Echo, their last album under The Morning Benders moniker, had brought them to the heights of post-Beach Boys/Beatles indie/pop, elaborate, but not overly orante pocket symphonies, the fleeting emotions following a break-up and working through it.  So it’s daring that they’ve changed their approach, but ultimately it’s honest to the artist and saves their sound from becoming stagnant.  

POP ETC is also very embracing of social media, and probably one of the better bands at reaching out to their fans. When they first announced their change of name, it wasn’t a little press release that gave no reasons, it clearly stated the why and their intentions.  While their album isn’t due out til the 12th of June, they’ve been keeping busy with making mixes, showcasing their influences and eclectic tastes through successive Weekend Mixes.  

As to the song itself, “Keep It For Your Own” is a great single, the hook that a better Coldplay might have made (I’m talking “Don’t Panic” era) and the live production touches of the Yours Truly session meld beautifully, an acoustic guitar here, an upright piano there, organic harmonies with a few electronic pieces. 

Keep It For Your Own (Yours Truly) – POP ETC 

(Sorry for the quality, there isn’t an official release)

POP ETC WEBSITE

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Grab “Keep It For Your Own” or pre-order the full POP ETC from iTunes.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was worried when I heard that The Morning Benders were taking on a new name and a whole new sound.  Having fallen in love with Big Echo, one of the first records that really resonated with my life, an intersection of time and place. Furthermore, I had never identified with the 90’s R&B that the band loved. Yet, I have to give credit to Chris Chu and the band as their first single “Keep It For Your Own” from their upcoming self-titled POP ETC features that  tender songwriting intact, with clever hooks and the catchy recording experimentation that made Big Echo such a fun album to listen to. It’s produced by Dangermouse and you can grab the track on iTunes

Preorder the album from Rough Trade.