From: CA, United States
Genre: Alternative/Alt. Rock, Post-Hardcore
With rain fluttering through his hair and down the sides of his cheeks, he stood on top of the sand dunes and watched the event unfold. The sea lions hunted in the river mouth, surfacing occasionally for air. These skilled hunters brought the prized catch to their young on the shore and then returned back to the river to retrieve more salmon. Once land-going mammals, the sea lions had slowly evolved over time into their new environment.
If they could change, why couldn’t he?
Singer Daniel S. Crittenden never imagined that he would be returning to live in the hometown that he escaped five years prior. Exhausted and tired of Long Beach, CA, he left behind his job at a burgeoning independent record label for a chance at finishing college in rain-soaked Humboldt County; the gateway to the pacific northwest. “I needed to be cleansed,” he explains, “I woke up one morning and realized that I wasn’t happy with where my life was headed, and it made me feel dirty.”
The neck of Crittenden’s guitar was warped from the southern California heat. So was he. Inside of his cabin, nestled away in the redwoods, he strummed his first chord in months and something strange began to happen inside. “I not only found my voice, but also the courage to share it”. Within weeks, he stumbled into guitarist Sam Wolfe. It was a collision of organized chaos. Capitalizing on each other’s strengths and weaknesses, a mutually symbiotic relationship emerged. “Everything that I wanted to say, but did not know how, was being sung at me,” claimed Wolfe. At the age of 16, Sam Wolfe already had the impeccable ability to structure songs like musical Trojan horses: ‘poppy’ enough to allow entrance into ones tympanic membranes, yet inconspicuous.
“We tried out other members to play with, but none of these musicians felt like a natural fit”, countered Wolfe, now 17. Finally, at a concert in mid-2008, Crittenden and Wolfe spotted their drummer, Mason McCanless. “He played so fast and loud that it was as if he was banging on two drum sets with eight arms,” explained Crittenden, “His mechanical efficiency and rhythmic phrasing was unlike anything I had heard before”. After months of pleading, McCanless finally agreed to come try out for Good Morning Glory. Along with him, he brought long-time band mate, Spencer Morrow. “We really wanted a lead-guitarist at the time, but did not want to disrupt the dynamics of our songwriting process,” commented Wolfe, “It turned out that Spencer was exactly what we needed”. Immediately, Morrow invigorated the group by providing a sense of technical ability, urgency and tension to the songwriting process: Crittenden and Wolfe had found their musical counterbalance.
Recorded during a Pacific Northwest thunderstorm in early 2009, Good Morning Glory’s 3-song debut, Look North, feels a bit like the lightning that was striking while it was recorded: organic yet industrial, bright and memorable but short-lived. A careful listener can hear the distant thunder and the electrical surges on the recording.
Crittenden’s dissociative lyrical structure presents listeners with deeply specific verses and dramatically vague choruses. Yet, when viewed as a whole, the songs feel like a cohesive unit. “Writing lyrics is about taking your own experiences and making them infinite,” observes Crittenden, “If I write a song that someone wants to sing along to then I feel like I am one step closer to infinity”.