POP ETC Do Yours Truly

The primary reason the morning benders dropped that name had to do with its unintentionally homophobic connotation in certain parts of the world, though the moniker flip also coincides with a marked shift in sound, if not conceit. Whatever it is the newly minted POP ETC stands in contrast to stylistically, whatever public memory there is of the quintessential morning benders “sound” or vibe was memorialized — if not conceived, in some people’s eyes — in this Yours Truly interview/performance piece of “Excuses” from early 2010. It was the rare video that got to the heart of an artist and had that special something, a heart of its own, that made it formative and informative, great and lasting. And so it’s especially notable, and symbolic, that the morning benders have returned to Yours Truly now, at a time when they are reshaping their aesthetic and the addressing the perception of it. Primary POP man Chris Chu explains their situation eloquently, followed by a take on the fittingly titled “Keep It For Your Own.” Watch:

Comments (6)
  1. no autotune, so thats a plus. Maybe there’s still fight in this young chaps.

  2. This sounds great! This feels similar to me to the newest Iron & Wine record. A lot of people (including myself) were down on the sound of that record, and when they heard the songs stripped down, they thought they were amazing. Clearly POP ETC are still great songwriters. I personally am not so inclined towards the type of sound the new recorded songs have, but I’m still a fan of the band and am always happy to hear their songs like this, because this completely holds it own against anything they’ve written.

    One thing I don’t get about this whole transition is the lyrical content of the new songs. Chris is really eloquent about why they changed to the new sound, and I completely respect a band wanting to push themselves and change it up. And I know he mentioned in the Progress Report that he often finds indie lyrics “really intentionally inscrutable and opaque.” I guess for me, lyrics don’t matter so much one way or the other as long as they aren’t distracting, which I really find the lyrics of most of the songs I’ve heard so far. To my ear, they just sound like they are trying to emulate the lyrical content of r&b songs rather than coming from a more organic form of writing, and it just really distracts me from the song itself. Obviously I don’t know what is really behind the lyrics and I don’t want to assume anything about them that just isn’t true, but for my listening experience, they definitely come off that way.

    • There’s nothing Iron & Wine-like about the new album. Opening for Dirty Projectors gives you a good hint as to what type of pop they’re making. To me, it sounds like a much more well-plotted, well-written, R&B-hued version of the Vampire Weekend / Ra Ra Riot side-project Discovery.

      • Not the actual sound. I was referring to the situation…A band people love for the sound the created completely changes it up on their next album, but when they play the songs stripped down, you can see that they have all the same songwriting qualities, and actually sound better stripped down.

  3. “Yoyo” is the hands down feel-good jam of the summer.

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