Imagine if you wanted to work in the singer-songwriter sonic playground but not merely follow the cliche lines of the battered acoustic guitar troubadour. Imagine if you wanted to play with slightly psychedelic moods and spacious indie sounds but not let those musical brushstrokes over-power the songs themselves. Imagine if you actually had something interesting to say lyrically as well as via the textures and structures of the songs. And what if you wanted to tip your hat to the past sounds but didn’t to get caught up its in rose-tinted nostalgia? What if you wanted to sound relevant and modern but without getting sucked into any modern musical fashion? That’s a lot of questions. Thankfully I can answer all of those questions in just two words. Morning Bells.
Able to drop a few names along the way such as The Veldt, and The Connells but essential a circle of reunited friends and acquaintances, Morning Bells make the sort of music which doesn’t fit neatly into any musical box. It’s a bit indie, a bit pop, a bit alt-rock, depending on where you actually dive into this debut 5 song opening salvo, but essentially it is the sort of sound which, given time, will transcend scene and style and probably eventually be labeled “classic.” The answer to the equation, what does great songwriting plus time equal? That’s what happens when you keep your eye on the music and don’t bother pandering to outside musical fads.
Ghost Story kicks things off, slightly psychedelic, loose yet lavish and Through The Dark almost has an R.E.M feel to it, not in any plagiaristic way but it seems to share an emotion connection with their later, more solitary sound. The Night You Touched My Hand is one of those songs about the smallest event being the turning point in someone’s life; guitar chords shimmer and cascade, drums tumble, punctuating straighter, driving beats, keyboards wash through the background and the vocals are heart-tugging and imploring.
A fantastic opening chapter in what I hope will be a very long story. At once fresh and familiar, comfortable yet challenging. I’m already looking forward to what comes next.