the morning benders – “Excuses”

The anatomy of a bona fide buzz cycle: stoking anticipation by securing a solid label and co-producer, releasing one of your album’s more promising tracks, demonstrating you’re a threat in concert at a killer coming-out party, and then (literally) orchestrating a live video with a song, cameo list, and conceit so strong it had no choice but to go viral. You could tell other campaigns to take note, but first they’d need an album worth the fuss, which you can’t calculate, which Big Echo is. I was in from first spin, but also sensed this one had the legs to connect. The “Excuses” live vid did its work to reel in the concert-of-blog-love requisite to make this a morning benders moment, which the band’s stoking here with the song that’s turned everyone to mush in its studio form.

Can’t say just how much of the initial interest in the live “Excuses” had to do with its recognizable cameos, or with the visual of mainbender Chris Chu conducting his small-scale Wall Of Sound, but the success of it is a song is independent of those tics, rests solely on its smart and earnest aurals: “Excuses” opens the record with the dusty crackle and pop of a needle dropping on vinyl, scene-setting for the throwback, ’50s-copping California pop vibes, the doo-wop break, the Etta James string section that color this song’s loping, waltz-time strum, paean of love, and sticky sweet, technicolor melodies. Dig it:

the morning benders – “Excuses” (MP3)

That comes via the morning benders’ site. Now watch this again. Also there’s this one:

the morning benders – “Promises” (MP3)

Big Echo is out 3/9 via Rough Trade. They’re great live, this is a headlining tour that you should get into:

02/25 – New York, NY @ Housing Works (w/ host Max Silvestri)
02/27 – Brooklyn, NY @ Market Hotel (w/ Surfer Blood)
03/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Jonny Brenda’s
03/11 – Washington, D.C. @ The Black Cat
03/12 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
03/13 – Atlanta, GA @ The Drunken Unicorn
03/15 – Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree
03/17-21 Austin, TX (SXSW)
03/23 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Rhythm Room
03/25 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
03/26 – San Diego CA @ Casbah
03/27 – Costa Mesa, CA @ Detroit Bar
03/28 – Santa Barbara @ Muddy Waters
03/30 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
04/01 – Portland, OR @ Holocene
04/02 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile Café
04/03 – Vancouver, Media Club
04/05 – Provo, UT @ Club Velour
04/07 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
04/09 – Des Moines, IA @ The Vaudeville Mews
04/10 – Ames, IA @ The Maintenance Shop
04/11 – Rock Island, IL @ Huckleberry’s Pizza (Presented by Daytrotter)
04/12 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas
04/14 – Toronto, ON @ The Drake Hotel
04/15 – Montreal, QUE @ La Sala Rossa
04/16 – Vermont @ The Monkey House
04/17 – Boston, MA @ TT The Bear’s
04/22 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge