Morning Trips are an Alternative Pop group based out of Fort Walton Beach, FL. Since the bands forming in 2017, they have toured across Florida, worked with legendary producer Carl Bahner, learned to engineer and produce their music themselves, and have released three previous singles. Recently the band released their fourth groundbreaking single "Follow the Blind" and it is a high energy nostalgic pop track that you'll find very easy to listen and bop your head to.
This release features a tight solid bass line, intimate dancey drums, spacey guitars, and an intimate evolving vocal. The backbone groove of this record instantly will have your foot tapping along, the rhythm section creates a lovely dance-centric experience that perfectly suits the vocals. Speaking of the vocals, they have a lot of great things going for them. They have an incredible blend of being both nostalgic and new at the same time, it has a little bit of that classic '80s reverb on the voice, but also has a bit of those ever so perfect harmonies that you won't be able to tell if they are a vocoder - whatever it happening it works really well and suits the story being created. "Follow the Blind" radiates a lot of feel-good energy and we cannot wait to hear what's next from Morning Trips.
Listen to "Follow the Blind" here and get to know Morning Trips in our interview below.
Hey, there Morning Trips! Welcome to BuzzMusic! We can't stop listening to your latest single "Follow The Blind"! What was the songwriting and production process for this like?
Greetings, thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying our song. Morning Trips certainly embraces the “bedroom artist” approach to producing. I’ll usually demo out songs onto Ableton and bring them to my band to discuss and learn. Once we have the live arrangement, the songs start to evolve a bit more into something that feels more intrinsically natural to the band once everyone has their imprint, but still keeps the spirit of my original ideas. Then once we have the live arrangement locked in, we will start properly recording revisit the song as a whole again on a laptop. Everybody in our band comes from a background of growing up on stages rather than in studios, so playing the songs in a live context helps us become more familiar with our songs, and sometimes even provides a brand new perspective on where they need to go. Embracing all the digital world has to offer for musicians in 2020 is something we are big on. It’s definitely the way I prefer to create. With Follow the Blind, we’ve probably had the original demo since 2018, it was straight-up synth-pop - no guitars. We traded out some of the synth elements for guitars, spiced up the drum grooves, and filled out the soundscapes to create a world. I knew how I wanted this particular song to sound and some songs aren’t always that natural but this particular one was. I felt like we got it out while the energy and excitement towards the song were at its peak.
This release radiates a whole lot of positive energy! Was this something that was part of the initial songwriting? Or did that come during the production?
That's actually sort of funny you say that! The “Day 1 Demo” most of the time will encompass a lot of what the song is thematically for sure. Lyrically, the song is actually sort of dark and sad. I had the instrumentation and remember sitting with the main synth lead repeating over and over in the song, it kept bringing me to the thought of relationships. It brought me to observations within my own relationships past/present. Relationships and partnerships can be these joyous, playful exchanges but also can be emotionally taxing or awkward. I think there’s a point in every relationship where things get moot or routine and you have to figure out how to get the energy to be joyous and playful again. I think the song is that - it's repetitive, like a relationship. It's playful in some sections and tense in others. Then the climactic resolution. I think I really just wanted to say, "Hey, nobody really knows what they're doing. There is no handbook, you just gotta give it a shot." I think that message in itself is pretty positive despite the sort of dramatic and somewhat negative lyrics.
It's so cool to know that you engineered this yourself, were there any challenges faced along the way? What was the setup and process like?
Hey, thank you! Every song we have done teaches us something different about the process. Our setup and process are rather humble. We do the original drum takes in a shed where everyone in the room is crammed together with all this gear and a drum set, but we’ve learned to work within those confines. The bass and guitars were all done in the same shed. Logan my bandmate, is a huge gear head and plays a big role in engineering the drum takes and guitar re-amps. I tracked all the keys, synth effects, and vocal parts in my tiny bedroom. The vocals were done with an SM57, a legendary microphone, but maybe not the first microphone most producers would choose to track vocals with. I sang into a closet with a thick blanket to attempt to get the most isolated sound I could achieve, which also played into the microphone choice. I would say our band hasn't run into any different challenges than any other bedroom artists haven't. We really learned to embraced the more “lo-fi” aesthetics of our process and do the best to express our songs sonically that we could at that particular moment in time. We are also super fortunate to work remotely with a producer named Carl Bahner. Once we have the recording produced, I’ll do a mix and send our work over to Carl for the last line of polish and mixdown, before the song gets mastered by Nicholas Di Lorenzo, a fantastic and friendly engineer we found through the internet in Australia. We really embraced computers and the internet in creating our records and it's served the band well thus far and taught us a lot.
The bands sound feels both fresh and nostalgic to us, what influences the music that you are creating? Do you have any idols that you look up to?
That is very nice of you to say, we really appreciate that. I think overall, we want to sound versatile yet cohesive. A playlist of different textures, soundscapes, and nuances but still clear and unashamedly expressing what Morning Trips are. It's something that's always developing and honestly, something that I don't think can be summarized with one song. Most people always reply to me that their favorite type of music is “Everything” - so embrace that same approach with creation. I grew up a massive blink-182 and pop-punk fan. You could get the best of both worlds, these big well-produced recordings and super well-crafted melodies in pop. Mixed in with the youthful, rebellious energy you got from punk. Tom DeLonge certainly knew how to write a riff that you would remember on the first listen. Prince also played a huge part in the birth of this band, he was an artist who was prolific at every instrument, and that was super admirable to me, especially at a time when I had no band. It inspired me to shy away from traditional approaches to creating within the context of a band, and more interested in producing music on my own. He was another artist who had both a guitar and synth-heavy sound, as he surfed between R&B, Funk, Synthpop, and straight-up Rock n' Roll. He was definitely a huge inspiration during the formative years of Morning Trips.
As I progressed, my love for ambient and electronic music grew deeper too. I felt those genres of music could transport me to places with different sounds and textures that guitar music couldn’t, and without lyrics. I wanted to convey that similar energy in our productions. I was digging deep into the discographies of Kraftwerk and Talking Heads. Kraftwerk was one of the founding fathers of electronic music and some of the sounds Talking Heads were using on their records were crazy. I would say my fondness for those bands were elicited by bands like LCD Soundsystem and The 1975. Bands with cheeky, sarcastic but playful frontmen. We're big fans of bands like Radiohead and Smashing Pumpkins too, two traditional guitar bands that grew into these eclectic legends. You couldn't tell the story of our band without mentioning those two bands for sure. I think I will always be influenced to write about my personal relationships and self-exploration, but right now we're really influenced by our observations of society. The world is in an intense place at the moment and I think creating is a healthy way to make sense of these things.