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FWB band Morning Trips talks new single 'Saudade,' pop in a pandemic, political awareness

Savannah Evanoff
Northwest Florida Daily News

FORT WALTON BEACH — What’s happened since Fort Walton Beach band Morning Trips last did an interview with the Daily News? A better question is, what hasn’t?

One word: coronavirus.

More:Subscribe to Morning Trips' YouTube channel

The indie pop rock group had just released the song, “Follow the Blind,” and its music video right around the time they had to reconfigure their entire lives. Some couldn’t return to work at restaurants; they had to cancel a couple of shows; and, well, politics.

Fort Walton Beach indie pop rock band Morning Trips recently released the three-minute pop single "Saudade."

They did what any musicians would do, churned out a whole lot of music.

“We really got to take the time to sit on all the music we had and think which songs work together,” said frontman Brady Lynch. “Because we were writing more, we were like, ‘Wow, we accidentally wrote a couple of EPs to set up the album we planned.’ That’s what we’ve been doing aside from trying to navigate the real world and deal with coronavirus and other ugly things in the sociopolitical sphere.”

Morning Trips released the three-minute pop single, “Saudade,” on streaming platforms Wednesday. The band plans to release two songs in October and a pair of songs every month through December. Expect the full album next year.

Brady Lynch is the frontman for Fort Walton Beach indie pop rock band Morning Trips. [MR. JOHN HARRINGTON/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Saudade” is in the same musical realm as “Follow the Blind,” a love song – just not in the traditional sense. Lynch wrote the lyrics in the fall of 2018 when he was 22.

“It was a time in my life where I saw a lot of people I knew and I was close with getting outside of Florida and leaving their hometown,” Lynch said. “I wanted to write our version of the song about what would I say if Florida was a physical person, what would I say to them and how would I want to depart this relationship with this great state?”

It’s not that he doesn’t like living here.

Morning Trips frontman Brady Lynch raises his fist during a concert. [KENO MANUEL/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Lynch isn’t going anywhere. He has been in Florida since he was 7 and, frankly, the financial decision alone to move is mind-boggling at the moment.

But, when the time comes, at least he will know what to say.

“We’ve done a lot of fun things together; we’ve had a lot of bad experiences together,” Lynch said. “But at the end of the day, there’s no hard feelings.”

Fort Walton Beach indie pop rock band Morning Trips is composed of Brady Lynch (top left), Logan Clinkingbeard (top right), James Amos (bottom left) and Noah Townsend (bottom right).

“Once I leave, I won’t be the same. And as for you, you wouldn’t have it any other way,” sings Lynch in the chorus of “Saudade.”

In the song, Florida gracefully lets him leave.

“The title means a deep melancholic longing for someone or something that is absent," Lynch said. "Which, to me, I would go week to week, month to month talking about, ‘Ah, Florida, I want to leave,’ but I know as soon as I would leave Florida, I would miss the heck out of it. It’s like a catch 22, a double-edged sword. That’s the emotion I was trying to convey within that song.”

Logan Clinkingbeard (left) is the bass guitar player and keyboardist for the Fort Walton Beach indie pop rock band Morning Trips. Noah Townsend (right) is the drummer. [MR. JOHN HARRINGTON/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Sonically, it’s influenced by the likes of indie alternative bands, such as Tame Impala, The 1975 and Glass Animals. It starts in the same ballpark as “Follow the Blind,” then veers heavier at the end with noisy feedback, he said.

“Sonic Youth inspired guitar parts along with these vocal layers going throughout the song,” Lynch said. “It was really, to me, reminiscent of Björk and Grimes and art-pop artists. We were trying to punctuate the song and give it a little more dirtiness from the gloss that’s present throughout all the songs. we feel like it’s a nice segue into the next stuff we’re going to release. It’s still sonically a lot prettier, but it’s also messier and heavier at the same time.”

Words like messier and heavier make sense – a lot has happened in 2020.

Noah Townsend is the drummer for Fort Walton Beach indie pop rock band Morning Trips. [MR. JOHN HARRINGTON/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Lynch has a fire within him and hopes to ignite young people toward politics with his music and accompanying visuals that tackle everything from nonviolent crimes to climate change to the lesser of two evils in politics, he said.

“I want to have those conversations with the younger people around here who might be disillusioned by the political ethics of their hometown and show them how you can converse with those people so you can find common ground but also figure out your own identity and role in the community to push things forward,” Lynch said.

Not to be grim, but Lynch feels like the world is disintegrating around us.

Brady Lynch is the vocalist and frontman for Fort Walton Beach indie pop rock band Morning Trips. [MR. JOHN HARRINGTON/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

“I think we need to take a step back as a society and say, ‘There are issues. We as a society need to work on these issues,’” Lynch said. “There’s a lot of ways as people we can try to work on remedying those issues. What we’re trying to do as a band, the best way we can do that, is through visual expression and sonic expression through art. That’s what we do and that’s how we communicate. The music, as daunting as the topics are, they do offer glimpses of optimism, some solutions and a lot of questions. I, myself, have a lot of questions.”

Activism is on the forefront of Lynch’s mind. After the George Floyd murder, Morning Trips played shows to raise money for music equipment for people in underprivileged communities, he said.

And he isn’t scared to talk politics.

James Amos is the guitarist for Fort Walton Beach indie pop rock band Morning Trips. [MR. JOHN HARRINGTON/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

“I think there’s definitely not a lot of bands around this area that will have these conversations just because it is the Panhandle; it is the Emerald Coast,” Lynch said. “We’re not necessarily doing it because we want to step out and be different; we’re just doing it because that’s just what we were going to do anyways.”

Lynch thinks it's practically their responsibility to talk about it. In the band is Lynch (vocals/guitar), Logan Clinkingbeard (bass/keys), James Amos (guitar) and Noah Townsend (drums).

“I take a lot of pride being an Asian-American frontman in a band with a black man and two white men,” Lynch said. “I think there’s a lot of responsibility to do the civil duty in that – even if we are a band and music is the least essential of the workers according to some polls. I think that’s phony BS. I think we can definitely influence and change a lot of minds through music.”

Lynch wants to give people a reason to care about politics – and not just a month or two before the presidential election; care all four years of the presidency, Lynch said.

Lynch continued, “2020 was the year where it’s like, ‘OK, if you’re not interested or invested in this, it’s something where you should probably ask yourself why. This year showed that politics affect everybody, whether you think they do or not. I think people have to not necessarily pick a team to root for, but understand their role in the sociopolitical board game and figure out how to navigate that board game.”