09 Feb Album Review: ‘Glory’ by Good Morning – They may not even be aware of their own potential
Overproducing an album can often be a sign of perfectionism, but just like any food manufacturing process, it can result in a loss of natural goodness. Many musicians love to write music, but they just aren’t natural songwriters and need to overproduce in order to achieve anything substantial. Then there’s Stefan Blair and Liam Parsons of Good Morning who, just like the titular character in the movie Good Will Hunting, are so naturally gifted and yet may not even be aware of their own potential.
Even other respected Australian songwriters such as Courtney Barnett or Marty Frawley (Twerps) may appear to write songs straight from a pure stream of thought, but even they need to chisel away at their craft in the studio. Stefan Blair and Liam Parsons often sound like they’ve just woken up, written a song, nailed it, and then recorded it straight away. The EP’s first track is even titled ‘Overslept‘, where they sing, “What in the world should I say?” They’ve recorded the song before they’ve even realised it’s recorded.
This isn’t to say that the duo are stumbling buffoons who keep getting lucky. They’re clearly talented guitarists who, by the end of ‘The Great Start‘, had me convinced that they had travelled from the future with an arsenal of stolen guitar parts. Then there’s the endless amount of memorable melodies that would make Mac DeMarco jealous because they sound far less formulated than Mac’s. That dreamy, soft, Brooklyn lo-fi period between 2008-2012 is definitely an influence on the duo, but whereas many of those bands were style over substance, Good Morning are substance over style.
You can’t often clearly hear what they’re saying outside of song titles, but it works as an exclamation point, in the same way you might think to yourself before making a statement out loud. When the band could just ride the assertive guitar hook in ‘Cab Deg‘ to carry the song, they pull off a catchy duo harmony in a way only conjoined twins should be able to pull it off. If you’ve seen their stage banter, which consists of regularly making fun of each other without any possible threat of truly insulting each other, you’d think they were brothers.
I’ve seen them cover the Victory Curtains & Blinds jingle at Paradise Festival, but it’s not all fun and games. They sing, “I’ve been drinking / It doesn’t change how I feel” in ‘Give Me Something To Do‘. ‘To Be Won‘ paints of the picture of a sorrowful person, staring out of a window while it rains outside, an image that actually featured on their first EP cover. There’s a longing for something more in the distance. The young band already travelled to NYC last year to perform. The ambition is there. The songwriting is there. The talent is there. Just exactly what Good Morning want to be is still a work in progress. The two main influences I keep hearing, Broken Dreams Club EP by Girls and Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter, are positive steps in an interesting direction. I’ve even seen the guys attend several electronic events in Melbourne, which would bring another dimension altogether to Good Morning.
Glory isn’t the album that’s going to make them a household name just yet. Maybe if they had condensed the 17 tracks they’ve released in the past 14 months into one album, that album would’ve made a bigger statement. However, the subtle diversity of Glory confirms that Good Morning aren’t restricted by parameters. Their only restriction is themselves. Once they start taking risks and the vocals become slightly more prominent, they’ll find themselves up the top with Tame Impala and Courtney Barnett.