steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Morning Spy

"Two Horses EP" CDR

KEEP Recordings

Genres: space pop, indie pop

KEEP Recordings
PO Box 18972
Tucson AZ 85731

Oct 4 - 10 2004

San Francisco's Morning Spy formed in 2001 and has since become a particularly active pop quartet.  Their Two Horses EP had the fortune of being picked up by the increasingly impressive KEEP label, and I've been lucky enough to get my paws on a copy.  The sound is a bit a change of pace for the budding imprint, whose previous releases (or at least those I've heard) have been a bit more folkish.  Morning Spy, on the other hand, are a relatively "regular" indie pop band, infusing basic songs with occasional space rock ambiance and chamber-pop personality.

Two Horses starts off with straightforward pop material - only the slight reverb of the title-track's guitar part and the fuzzy feedback layers of "Ask Us To Dance" hint at the type of spacey rock Morning Spy can really do well.  You probably won't "get" this CD's true orientation until you reach the last song, an eight minute epic named "The Demise of an African Businessman."  It's quite drawn out, but lush and wonderful nonetheless, thoroughly entertaining despite its instrumental nature.  Its gradual, delicate sound calls to mind more experimental Yo La Tengo, and will certainly charm any true shoegazer.  The band's less spacey songs, including the subtly twangy "Already Won," are also successful, and add depth to an already impressive EP.

I can't say Two Horses is essential - EPs rarely are - but, as far as friendly indie pop music goes, you can be sure Morning Spy do things right.  This is both wonderfully accessible and accessibly wonderful.


The Two Horses EP is limited to 50 copies.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]