Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ears to the Ground: "Trading Love For Gold" by Morning Brigade

Morning Brigade are celebrating the release of
"Grow Around The Bones" on Sat. April 26 at Local 506
w/ Look Homeward and Birds & Arrows
For the past few years Chapel Hill's Morning Brigade have been slowly but surely building quite the reputation for themselves. Though they're still fresh-faced college students, they've performed at some of the area's premiere festivals including Hopscotch, Shakori Hills and the Eno River Festival. Their debut full-length Above Our Heads was released back in 2012, but they're already a week away from the release of their heavily anticipated follow-up Grow Around The Bones.

I spoke with Peter Vance, the band's vocalist and songwriter back in 2013 and noticed how clear of a vision the band seems to have for itself. Morning Brigade isn't clouded by visions of pomp and fanfare like one may expect from a young band that's gathered such a large local following, instead they're headstrong, focused on advancing as musicians by creating engaging and thought-provoking songs all their own. Vance said that he didn't want the band's follow-up to be a sequel to Above Our Heads, but instead something new and exciting. From the early sounds of Grow Around The Bones, it'll be just that.

Although the core of "Trading Love For Gold" was written by Vance before Morning Brigade had even formed, the collaborative aspects of the band shine through. The song has been a staple of live performances, growing over the years into an inquisitive and expansive track that tackles the reaches of love and what it's truly worth. "Trading Love For Gold" serves as a brilliant stepping stone for Morning Brigade, it's proof that they've grown markedly as an act since the release of Above Our Heads, mostly because it feels like a far more realized version of the grandiosity on display in their debut. Each instrument fits snugly into the mix and serves as a vital element to the song's structure, subtly layered harmonies and gently swelling strings give way to emotional shouts and abrupt rhythmic shifts.

Grow Around The Bones was recorded at Nightsound Studios in Chapel Hill and was produced by Chris Wimberly and Morning Brigade (with local icon Chris Stamey mixing "Trading Love For Gold" and "Elemental," the album's first two singles). Grow Around The Bones will be released officially on Saturday, April 26. The band is celebrating with a performance at Local 506 in Chapel Hill alongside Look Homeward and Birds & Arrows. With a sold-out 506 performance under their belt, I'd jump on some advance tickets for this one if you want guaranteed entry, you can purchase them at local506.com for $10, with a free CD included with admission. They'll also be performing on Friday, May 2 at Kings Barcade in Raleigh with Saints Apollo and The Walking Sticks. You can listen to "Trading Love for Gold" below:

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