• Cherry Popper

Morning…: Downtown Post-Soul Funk-Punk?

written by: on September 5, 2013

Morning…’s modest career is not on the same page as its music. The New Jersey-based band started in 2007 and has already released four EPs, a couple singles, and one album—each adding to the band’s unique sound as it progresses through its career. Morning…’s style cannot easily be narrowed down to one genre. Its songs range from calm and poppy, to loud and in-your-face.

Members Albert Chua (guitar/clarinet), Darryl Norrell (vocals/guitar), George Serr (drums), Ben Oliveira (guitar/additional vocals and percussion), Kieran Wardle (bass), and Joe Caravaglia (trumpet, keys, additional percussion) graduated from the same school in North Jersey. Almost all of them played in metal bands before coming together as Morning…. And if you’re wondering about the significance of the ellipsis at the end of the band’s name, “There is no significance,” Norrell says.

Or maybe there is…

“It seemed really sad and romantic. So we’re just like, ‘That’s so indie. Sure. We’re naïve and stupid,’” Norrell says.

“No, no, it’s pretty much: you wake up—what do you do? What’s going on? You just stand there and you’re like, ‘Where’s my tea?’ That’s what the dot, dot, dots are all about,” Serr says.

Because each member of Morning… has a wide variety of musical tastes (including one of Serr’s favorite groups, Alash, a Tuvan throat singing ensemble), the band’s style is varied and deep. The band, struggling to agree on a specific genre with which to label itself, half-jokingly jumped from “downtown post-soul” to “funk punk” to “alternative pop.”

“I guess a lot of people would call us indie-rock, but that’s really broad and a super diffused term at this point,” Norrell says. “Our tastes are so scattered. We all like really different [things], so it all comes together to this strange indie-rock mixture.”

What comes out of this mix is intriguing and catchy. The three guitars layer each other beautifully, resembling math-rock, and often eliciting comparisons to Modest Mouse, while the bass and drums groove.

On top of this assortment of talented instrumentals, Norrell’s vocals bring another unique element to the band’s sound with poppy hooks, powerful yelling, profound lyrics, and a voice that’s smooth and interesting.

Each member is emphasized equally in the music and consistently keeps the listener entertained. Although certain elements are prevalent across all the band’s songs, the music is never the same. At times, it’s powerful, like a punch to face (as heard in the intro of “Hermit Song”), and at other times, it’s slow and calm, like a Death Cab tune. Then, it’ll be catchy and fun with bouncy guitars and poppy hooks. Regardless of where Morning… takes its sound, it always feels good.

Despite its charming sound and immense talent, Morning… has yet to establish a large fan base or embark on a tour.

“We’ve only had one experience that you can really consider a tour, and that was a weekend,” Norrell says. Although the band can’t be seen live much outside of New Jersey, its music is free on Bandcamp.

The group hopes that if it can’t break the bank, it can at least “remove a barrier of entry” for listeners who can’t afford to pay for the music. “Recently at shows, we put a box of CDs out in front of us and just said, ‘Take ‘em,’ and people would just throw money in the box, so there’s still some generous souls out there who will pay,” Norrell says.

The group is currently working on its second full length album, which it promised would include “solos up the ass.” We can also expect it to be fairly different from previous releases.

“It’s pretty all over the place for influences because we’re all growing apart even now with our musical tastes,” Norrell says. Whether it will be released for free or not, the band has yet to decide.

Morning… has been writing and recording in a basement and will continue for the rest of summer.

“It’s been a little bit different this time around, ’cause we’re actually jamming out most of the ideas,” Norrell says. “In the past, we would usually write a song with the structure mostly finished. But this time it’s been a little bit more free-flowing and, like, putting a microphone in the middle of the room.”

No release date has been chosen. “We’re not going to try to rush it,” Serr says. “So God knows when this’ll be out,” Norrell adds. The band will not be playing many shows during recording, but in the meantime, encourages anyone interested to download its music.

The sound of the new record can be expected to diverge from the feel of the band’s last album, Breakfast Forever, which was tamer than some of its earlier material. “We’re gonna try to honor all of our influences a little bit more closely and just kind of not care about doing anything but what we want to do on this record,” Norrell says.