From Boston to the Bay area and back again
Before garage-pop dabblers Mornin’ Old Sport left the basements of Allston for the West Coast, they released a solid, seven-song EP that served as an accurate representation of what they do best: catchy hooks, ambitious instrumental combinations and lovely harmonies that showcased their vocal ability.
Now, they’ve got a self-titled full-length that goes in a completely different direction. We caught up with Kate Smeal to figure out where the hell this too-good-to-be-phony country-western vibe was coming from.
New album, new tour, new sound—Mornin’ Old Sport’s got a lot going on! Take me through what you guys have been up to for the past couple of months.
Sure! As far as the change in sound, for the past year, we’ve been really focused on you developing it and trying to expand the genre we’re finding ourselves in while really focusing on what our band specifically is about. We’ve been really getting into artists like The Coasters and Patsy Cline and Hank Williams. We’ve been taking their songwriting techniques and really trying to flush them out in our own work, so the past year has really been a huge creative push for us.
Yeah! This record is—I mean, I wrote “COWBOYS” in capital letters and underlined it three times because of the feeling I get from it. I can hear that you listened to a lot of Patsy and Hank Williams. What’s the toughest part of all that? That’s got to be an interesting dialogue to have with your friends, the one that takes place when you change your sound so drastically.
I mean I think for the most part what people really want to see, especially our friends that have stuck around with our band for the past couple of years, they want to see progress and that development. As we change our feeling, people have been more supportive of what we’re doing. I think as we go along they almost understand us more as we get more in-depth with this Americana, pre-war, country jazz genre. They almost are more dedicated and loyal to us, which is incredible because we really weren’t sure if people were gonna be into this album. We were very, very nervous ’cause it is such a drastic change. But yeah, it’s been amazing how supportive people have been through all of the changes that we’ve made.
When you look at the album as a whole, is there a particular song that provides the biggest contrast to your previous work?
Ohhh, that’s a really tough one! My personal favorite on the album that really shows off the progress that we’re making and what we can do would be “Heartbreak.” Scott wrote that one, and I feel like the instrumentation in it really shows what we’re getting more into. So, I mean, I think I would say, I would have to say “Heartbreak,” but maybe even “My Lips”—we really tried to infuse the jazz and country vibe together more with that one.
MORNIN’ OLD SPORT
WITH OLD HAT, ROARR
THE MIDDLE EAST
472 MASS. AVE.