May 23, 2012


As we've seen in recent weeks, name changes tend to come about upon realizing another band has already made claims to it, but for POP ETC -- formerly known as the Morning Benders -- it's a reinvention of sorts. Consider this the second coming for the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Berkeley trio who originally made a splash in 2010 under their former working title with their critically-acclaimed indie folk-tinged effort Big Echo. That release brought the former incarnation their big breakthough, had them playing Coachella and opening for the likes of other traditional indie rock trailblazers such as Death Cab for Cutie, Grizzly Bear and the James Mercer-Danger Mouse duo Broken Bells. Today, POP ETC is a bit more self-aware about their past (frontman Chris Chu revealed to Pitchfork that, unbeknownst to the group, the word "bender" is an apparent slang homophobic term in British culture and they just couldn't be any part of that) and their future. As early previews of their upcoming self-titled debut under the POP ETC pseudonym (due out June 12th on Rough Trade) indicate, they've ditched the Northeast indie shtick, fallen back in love with their youthful influences of '90s pop, R&B and added a flair of electronic reverb to give the accessible sound its own unique twist (If that doesn't fit their new namesake better, I don't know what does.) While it's less likely these days the brothers Chu and Julian Harmon will be invited to step on stage before your favorite guitar-based indie rockers, all the unusually-timed changes don't seem to be putting the trio back at square one, but rather opening new doors and opportunities -- They'll be opening for experimental pop auteurs Dirty Projectors this summer.

"Live It Up"
Directed by: POP ETC

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