pop etc - photo by michael lavine

I first fell in love with POP ETC, then known as The Morning Benders, when I saw the Yours Truly session for their single “Excuses,” off their 2010 album Big Echo. In addition to being one of the more stunning live recordings I’ve ever seen, or heard, the combination of incredible video production with seeming musical spontaneity still makes it a pretty joyful video to watch.

A lot has changed since then. The Morning Benders moved to Brooklyn and changed their name to POP ETC, inspiring a litany of reactions ranging from uninterested to disdainful, and evolved their sound away from acoustic, indie pop rock to a more highly produced, sleek straight-up pop direction.

Whether you love or hate the change, the magic is still there when these guys get together with Yours Truly. The video for their track “Keep It For Your Own” exemplifies the intimate, in-your-living-room style that Yours Truly does so consistently well. The tight shots, close transitions, and frank interviews make the viewer feel close to the artist, and close to the process of song creation.

Here, the production is more stripped down than in the recorded track (which you can check out here), but the influence of producer Danger Mouse is still evident in the crisp back beat and subtle addition of new sound layers. I must admit, I prefer the acoustic, Yours Truly inspired version, but that’s also the venue in which this band first caught my eye, and ear.

You can stream POP ETC’s new album over at MTV Hive. And, just ’cause it’s still so good, the video for “Excuses”: