Sometimes only a rude awakening can shake you off a misguided path. That’s what Vancouver based alt-rockers Morning Show received from their producer Colin Stewart in the spring of 2016. Morning Show was busy making gentle, refined tunes peppered with subtleties that the casual listener might never notice. Thankfully, the formidable Stewart (The New Pornographers, Yukon Blonde) bluntly informed them these songs were lousy and that the band sounded “bummed”. They realized that indeed they were “bummed”, changed up their line-up, adopted a new mentality (self-dubbed “freedom train”), un-“bummed” themselves and Voila! Out came 2017’s debut full-length, Wine.
In contrast to 2015’s Prom Theme EP, where everything was worked over meticulously until the dynamic and lush indie-rock record was produced, Wine was fluid until the end. With parts and lyrics changing constantly and songs exiting and entering unknowingly, the process went by in a blur, underlined with a lot more fun and excitement than this band was used to having. Newly condensed to a duo, songwriters Ethan Henthorn and Ryan Stephenson (joined on stage and social media by a rotating cast of talented friends) embraced a never-say-die attitude to spur their creative flow. Old songs were cut apart and Frankenstein-ed back together. New songs were written in a fury by rapidly sending ideas back and forth until before they knew it the album had formed itself.
Morning Show has taken an unusual route through early band-hood that has seen them enter as a young, polished act that promised refined, clean cut indie-rock songs but instead has slowly stripped the paint off and decided to reveal their bumps and bruises a little more. Since they had their epiphany back in early 2016, they redefined their sound in studio and on the road and have had that sound documented in Wine. The year following the release of Wine has seen the band wrapping up their fourth Western Canadian tour in 18 months, releasing music videos inspired by existential crises and public drinking for tracks Slow (and steady) and Mary in the Tide, and preparing for their triumphant sophomore return.