Photo by Matthew Renee

There’s an almost alarming simplicity to the story of The Morning Benders, the Oakland/Berkeley-based band we feature in this week’s episode of our podcast. When singer-songwriter Chris Chu was a senior in high school, he picked up a guitar. When he started college in Berkeley, he formed a band, which recorded the first songs he’d ever written on a laptop with one microphone.

That record, Loose Change, vaulted the band into the spotlight, gathering local and national press for their catchy update on classic rock-pop sounds. That EP caught our ear, and we first included “Grain of Salt” in a Monthly Mix almost a year ago. The band built on this attention with performances at top venues around the city and the release of a second EP, Boarded Doors, to further acclaim earlier this year. All this before the release of a full length album.

As we learned during our interview with Chris and drummer Julian Harmon, that full length, a mix of brand new and re-recorded songs from their EPs, is on the way and is currently being mastered as the band considers its next steps. In addition to the discussion of what’s ahead for the band, we’ve got three songs from their two EPs and a Roy Orbison cover you can also find on the band’s blog.

The band’s next performance is at Bottom of the Hill later this month:

Friday, August 24th
Bottom of the Hill
w/ Au Revoir Simone and Oh No! Oh My!
10pm, $10, All Ages (purchase advance tix here)

To hear more from the band, check out their MySpace page and web site. You can purchase Loose Change and Boarded Doors at both sites as well as on iTunes. You can also catch up with the guys over at their blog.