The Morning Benders. Matt Jacoby
Like their indie-pop counterparts Fleet Foxes or Grizzly Bear, The Morning Benders are a young group of talented melody makers who have hit it big with critics and fans early in their careers.
Hailing from Berkeley, Calif., the band is fronted by Chris Chu, who brought the other members together while they were students. Their first big break came with their bright debut album, Talking Through Tin Cans.
"All Day Daylight"
Deemed the best indie/alternative album of 2008 by iTunes, that album's meticulous production brought the Benders to the attention of fans, critics and indie-pop artists. The three members, Chu, Julian Harmon and Tim Or, subsequently toured with a list of well-known acts, including Grizzly Bear, The Kooks, Death Cab for Cutie, Ra Ra Riot, MGMT, Yeasayer, and the Submarines.
Their latest offering, Big Echo, came out just this March. Co-produced by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor, the 10-song collection has been called by Chu a "wall of sound" (a la Phil Spector), with its plethora of instruments and beautifully layered vocals. There's no question that Grizzly Bear's mixing played an influential part in the construction of Big Echo, and that's definitely a good thing.