HearYa Live Session 23: The Morning Benders

by That Guy on July 21, 2008

The Morning Benders Live In Studio

HearYa was lucky enough to recently have indie pop act The Morning Benders join us for a live session, and it was fantastic. The guys stopped through Shirk’s studio on their way back to Berkeley, CA after finishing up a tour opening up for The Kooks. I can definitely think of worse bands to open up for.

After seeing the guys lay down 4 glorious tracks, I became curious as to where they got their name. Apparently frontman and founder Chris Chu is the only guy that knows and he’s not telling. At first I thought it was just me, but then I asked the other bandmates and they didn’t know either. I tried to get it out of them, but short of calling in Jack Bauer to torture and whisper-yell at them, it wasn’t happening for me.

But it turns out Chris Chu is just as talented as he is tight-lipped. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Chu is one of the most talented guys we’ve had come through. He has a helluva knack for writing catchy tunes and his voice sounds even better in person than it does on their album. It has such a cool groove to it (see their cover below of The Ronettes “Why Don’t They Let Us Fall in Love” for example). Despite being a little sick, he hit every note just right.

Earlier that day, the guys found out their latest album Talking Through Tin Cans had been selected as the “Editor’s Music Choice” of the day on iTunes home page, a huge PR win for them. But the band (Chu, Joe Ferrell on guitar, Julian Harmon on drums, and Tim Or on bass) took it in stride, even shrugging it off. I asked, “So how do you feel about being featured on the iTunes home page today?” You would have thought I asked “So how do you feel about being the centerfold in the most recent Playgirl magazine?” You could tell they kind of knew some good things might come from it, but they didn’t want to let on and they certainly didn’t want to brag about it. Their attitude was refreshing – unassuming, laid back, and solely focused on making the best music they can. I’d expect to see a lot more of these guys in the future. They definitely have what it takes.

The Morning Benders graced us with 4 foot-tapping, good-natured tracks that are perfect for this time of year. Give ’em a d-load below and tell all your friends you knew them way back when.

Website | MySpace | Blog

Exclusive: The Morning Benders – Why Don’t They Let Us Fall In Love

Exclusive: The Morning Benders – Last Today

Exclusive: The Morning Benders – Damnit Anna

Exclusive: The Morning Benders – Waiting On A War

Stay tuned for The Explorers Club and Samantha Crain.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody July 22, 2008 at 8:11 am

Sweet sounding. I don’t think I gave these guys enough credit when I reviewed the album a month ago. This album is a creeper. It just gets better with each listen, and before you know it, you’re listening to it all the time.

oz July 22, 2008 at 9:36 am

If you like the Ronettes cover, jump on over to their blog to download the Bedroom Covers – a free album of cover tunes the Morning Benders put together.


jake July 22, 2008 at 10:49 am

this is the best session i’ve heard on here so far. good job guys.

oz July 22, 2008 at 12:21 pm

You just might be right, Jake. Chu is one of the strongest vocalists for sure, rivaling Langhorne Slim and Justin Townes Earle (in my humble opinion).

Shirk July 23, 2008 at 9:57 am

“Last Today” is my favorite. I remember after the take, Chris mentioned that he thought the performance was bit messy but the vibe was right on. I totally agree.

lwaxi March 13, 2009 at 3:43 pm

yup, they definitely have what it takes. the benders are a really talented band, and their careers going to be huge one day. i saw that perform at noisepop, it was a pretty awesome show. they know how to work a crowd…heres some of the footage.


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