Sprawling harmonies and grand theatricality reign on Morningbird’s debut LP, Only Believe In Love.
Morningbird is comprised of a duo of Berklee grads, guitarist Max Challis and keyboardist John Cattini, who share lead vocal duties, as well as bassist Connor Frawley, guitarist Isak Kotecki, and drummer Ian Ho, all of whom share backing vocals with the exception of Ho. Only Believe In Love is clean and simple right off the bat: “It takes woman to make this boy a lover/And woman, you made a man out of me,” Cattini sings on the opening track, “It Takes A Woman.”
The layered harmonies and delicately played piano are somewhat reminiscent of flashy rock bands like Queen and the crescendo to a balanced mix of drums, strings, guitar, and bass burst open to reveal Morningbird as a rock group that dabbles in the dramatic.
Some of the tracks on the album take a more reductive approach to their sound; particularly on “The World,” which features an insistent guitar-driven melody over a constant rhythm led by crash cymbals. There’s a lot of clever wordplay at work throughout Only Believe In Love, perhaps to be credited to a majority of the bands’ educational background. “If life’s a game/Then I ought to start playing,” Cattini sings before the song builds to its first guitar break.
Only Believe In Love is packed with radio-ready earworms. “Love In Reverse (Kodi’s Song)” has catchy hooks backed by a groovy synth-laden beat, “Our Beautiful World” recalls 70s rock with reverb-heavy vocals and a psych-rock groove, and “Worn Out” is the world-weary closing track with bare bones instrumentation that leaves isolated vocals crooning: “I’m so tired/Just a little worn out/For your love.”
Morningbird has taken flight as an introspective psych-rock band in Boston’s scene with Only Believe In Love. You can stream the album below and be sure to catch them at Hennessy’s Hooley House tonight at 7 pm.