In the midst of relocating from San Francisco to Brooklyn, slickly polished indie rock quartet the Morning Benders parted ways with bassist Tim Or and changed their name to POP ETC. This decision came after the band toured extensively and learned that the word "bender" had some homophobic slang connotations in parts of the U.K. In a press release regarding the name change, the band stated "We simply cannot go on using a name that is demeaning to the gay community. The reason we are making music is to reach and unite as many different kinds of people as possible, and the idea that our name may be hateful towards anyone makes us sick." Along with the name change, the move, and the reconfiguration of bandmembers (bandleader Chris Chu stayed on with multi-instrumentalists Julian Harmon and brother Jon Chu), POP ETC took on a drastically more radio-ready sound than the shimmery indie rock of the Morning Benders' albums. An eponymous debut album arrived in the summer of 2012, with slick production by Lil Wayne and Kanye West producer Andrew Dawson as well as a collaborative production with Danger Mouse. With reference to the time span between albums, which involved the recording "hundreds" of songs per Chu, their second album, the ten-track Souvenir, arrived in early 2016. In September 2017, POP ETC debuted the Infinite Singles Collection, a project that involved dropping new material every four to six weeks. Beginning with the track "Fingerprints," the band added three more singles and a Christmas EP to their catalog by the year's end. ~ Fred Thomas

    Brooklyn, NY

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