Melbourne, Australia-based indie rock band Good Morning released its latest LP, Barnyard, on Friday (October 22). The album, which leans into stylized guitars and mellow, sticky vocals, is a success. It’s the kind of album you can put on in your car and drive along the ribbon highway as you contemplate your small place in this giant universe.
We caught up with the group, which is comprised of Stefan Blair and Liam Parsons, to ask about the new album, what the duo’s chemistry is built on and why music remains such an integral part of their lives and friendship.
American Songwriter: When did you first find music?
Liam Parsons: As a kid, I was drawn to the CD rack at our house. I loved the covers and the liner notes and that everyone that was put on seemed to make the adults have a different conversation. That and being at pubs and seeing jukeboxes.
AS: What made you want to invest in playing and writing music and what did that look like early on?
LP: My mum got me piano lessons pretty early on because I seemed very interested in music. I can’t say I loved getting them but I’m glad I did. I started playing drums a bit later and started a band with my friends when we were all about 11. The biggest eye-opener was when I figured out how to play other people’s songs on the guitar and the piano as a teenager. This is obviously very simplistic, but I think when you realize that there’s only really like a few chords and it’s just where you put them, that writing songs becomes super achievable and reachable to you.
AS: How did Good Morning get together, what did you see about the chemistry that made you feel like the project could work?
LP: We met in high school and had similar music tastes and senses of humor. That’s really it. The sense of humor thing is probably even more important than music taste. We just liked hanging out with each other, and if you like hanging out and writing songs then it’s pretty natural to just start sharing them with each other.
AS: I don’t normally ask this, but how did you land on your name? It’s impeccably bright!
LP: We’d finished our first EP and we needed a name to put it out under. It’s as simple as that. At the time we wanted something that was going to be hard for people to Google. I’m not sure why that was a requirement but I’m proud of us for it.
AS: What was the genesis of the band’s new record, your sixth?
LP: We’d worked with our live band on our last two records. One was very regimented and the lineup stayed how it was in a live show, and the other was very loose and everyone was moving around instruments. We did that because we were sick of recording as a duo, but then we wanted to go back to recording as a duo. We started demoing together every week and just building up a bank of songs, so when we got to the studio to record we just started pulling them out and seeing what worked together.
AS: How did you think about the guitar, specifically, on the new album?
LP: Throughout our entire history, including this record, we’ve always tried to figure out ways to make the guitar bend to us, be that tunings or textures. The guitar can really limit you, especially if you don’t have amazing technical skills on it as we don’t. I sort of get the feeling that this record might be the end of the road for the guitar with us for a little while. I’m interested in how it can blend into other things as just another texture but less and less about strumming a little ditty as it were. Touring this album will be interesting because it’ll slam us back into that world.
AS: How do you feel now that it’s out and what might be on the horizon?
LP: I guess, for us, it’s been complete for so long that we’ve made our peace with it already and put it to bed. We made it just before the pandemic so we’ve had plenty of time to let it sink in. We just want to tour and keep working on the next thing.
AS: What do you love most about music?
LP: Either when it makes me completely zone out from life, or when it makes me focus on the excruciating details of life.