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The Morning Benders: Between Youth And Adulthood

Every weekday from March 8 to March 19, Song of the Day will showcase a track by an artist playing the South by Southwest music festival. For NPR Music's full coverage of SXSW — complete with full-length concerts, studio sessions, blogs, Twitter feeds, video and more — click here. And don't miss our continuous six-and-a-half-hour playlist, The Austin 100, which features much more of the best music the festival has to offer.

From The Beach Boys and The Zombies to Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes, nothing makes a pop song sunnier than layer upon layer of vocal harmonies. In "Promises," The Morning Benders' members stack up vocals that flow like a much-needed summer breeze. With its tone of youthful regret and lost innocence — "They say it's only natural ... but I kept thinking we grew up too fast" — the song draws more than just its dense sound from Brian Wilson. Both yearn to hold onto childhood amid the inevitable progression to (and through) adulthood.

Amid a propulsive bundle of hooks and harmonies, singer Christopher Chu pines for days in the sun – he's hovering between a youth he still remembers and an adulthood that, for all its benefits, comes with a hint of lost promise. Fortunately for Chu and The Morning Benders, "Promises" signals a bright future ahead, even as the ravages of age beckon.

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Andy Young
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