"The band easily sets a new standard for the type of music that will get live audiences roaring... a keen sense of musical brilliance as well as an undeniable knack for producing avant-garde compositions... This is virtuosity at its best." - Urb Magazine
"The band does everything well... There are very few victorious, uplifting rock bands on the Portland scene these days—let alone those who, like Hello Morning, can really play.” - Portland Mercury
"Brawny, accessible rock with epic flourishes, like a pre-ironic U2 or a more down-to-earth the Secret Machines." - WIllamette Week
"Makes good on the promise of big drums and cascading guitars." - The Oregonian
Making the Hello Morning EP
The basic tracks for these songs were recorded in June 2009 at the plushly appointed but not overly ostentatious Secret Society Studios in North Portland. Located in the remains of haunted old Masonic lodge, the studio had the perfect vibe that we wanted to capture for this recording. We spent the first few days getting the bass and drums recorded, then focused on guitars. We took a few days off to let our ears refresh, then entered the studio again to tackle percussion and more guitars. Jordan provided a relaxed, comfortable recording environment and welcomed our ideas and approaches to recording. We, in turn, took Jordan’s advice on which was the best sandwich at the nearby cafe.
After everything was tracked, we decided on the local luminary Jeff Stuart Saltzman to mix the songs. As a total pro (and totally nice guy) whose illustrious career includes work with Stephen Malkmus, Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab For Cutie, and Menomena, he was the clear choice for this project. He brought some real artistry to the mixes and found moments in the songs that made them seem fresh to our ears, even after repeated listens.
Finally, the album art was created by Gabe Sprenger, an animator and artist whose work on Robot Chicken and Coraline really impressed us. Within a few days of our first meeting, he presented us with the nearly completed layout and design, which we found pretty amazing and beautiful.
About the songs:
For a while, this was known as “Fast song in D”, but that just didn’t seem as catchy as “Come Home.” The seed of this song was created in one afternoon, while the fine tuning of it developed through our live shows, with a few different bridge sections being tried out. Pretty soon, we knew this was the song that everyone had stuck in their heads after our shows, and we’re happy for that.
Though beginning life as a mid-tempo electro riff, “Coldbreakers” quickly turned into a rousing audience participation hand clap-stravaganza. The theme to Mission Impossible was a key element in developing this idea which is now one of our most fun songs to play - it’s fast, it’s unusual, and the outro has achieved a really nice velvety, otherworldly texture.
Everything is You
While you might not immediately think “Emmylou Harris” when listening to the chiming guitars and drum machines of “Everything is You”, she was a primary influence in writing of this song. It’s a love song of sorts, and the people you love the most are able to hurt you the worst. But it’s totally worth it, right?
Mercury (Once Again)
Although it now sounds something like the garage days of U2, “Mercury” was initially a somber fingerpicked ballad, written during the harsh winter storm of 2008. This is one of those rare occasions when a song arrives about 80% done, and we just need to finish a few bits and pieces, which in this case means adding double time drums and dueling guitars in the pre-chorus.
Everglades was initially a very slow soul jam, almost trip hop in feel. This eventually gave way to a style influenced by the Middle Eastern drone rock of Haale. And pretty soon, the percussion & drums became a focal element in the song. We had a lot of fun recording all the percussion for this song, and used 3 kick drums in it, plus just about every shaker and hand drum we own. What’s the song about? I think it’s inspired by the show Dexter, but that’s just one man’s opinion.
Like a musical Voltron, the members of Hello Morning carved out their own musical identities in such acclaimed groups as Jonah, Smalltown Poets, Sappo, Boy Eats Drum Machine, and Chris Robley & The Fear of Heights. Those creative forces have now banded together as Hello Morning, a monstrous robot group of musicians united by their passion for good songs and years of camaraderie.
They make rousing, epic rock fused with post-modern synths and beats, matched by an infatuation with space-age sounds.
Hello Morning was born in 2007 when Kevin Breuner (Smalltown Poets) and Ben Sims (Sappo) began a new music project that would fulfill of their creative needs. They soon brought in Peter Swenson (Boy Eats Drum Machine, Chris Robley) to work with them. They knew they were on to something special but they needed the perfect singer to round out the band. Enter Henry Curl (Jonah), an highly lauded local talent who gave their ideas just the right melodic sheen they needed.
Maturing past the garage-rock elements that plague so many bands, Hello Morning’s sound has evolved into a compelling dramatic force. Incorporating an array of aural treats like xylophone, synth bass, electric piano, as well as guitar-via-Sputnik sounds, they are never content to make the same old songs. Seamlessly blending their influences ranging from the post-modern melodic aesthetic of Mew, the pop power of The Killers but with cajones, and the rhythmic intensity of Interpol, Hello Morning is immediately engaging and keeps you singing along.