TFR003: “I’m So Good At Shining” by Onward Chariots

EDIT: Chariots of Tuna are now Onward Chariots. Tweefort heartily approves the name change.

Tweefort Records is proud to announce its first new release — a single from New York pop quartet, Chariots of Tuna.


TFR003: I’m So Good At Shining – Chariots of Tuna
1. A New Beginning
2. Seven Miles Away
Tracks are no longer available.
Check out Onward Chariots’ new single on Elefant Records.

Two songs can say so much when they are presented by New York pop quartet Chariots of Tuna. With equal parts hard and soft, Ben Morss and company present a wide spectrum of sound in just under 5 minutes playing time.

Morss’ carefully constructed tunes, delicate falsetto harmonies, loungey vibe, and solid beats recall pop from the Beach Boys and Shins to the Decemberists and Beck. Songs speak of the apprehension, anxiety and excitement of change, the ache of long-distance love affairs, faith and confusion and the simple self-pity of an unloved songwriter.

In 1999, in Sacramento, Morss began recording songs under the name “Chariots of Tuna” for indie-pop compilations such as I Made It Out Of Clay (Little Shirley Beans Records) and Candycore! (Asaurus Records). After relocating to New York, the project went on indefinite hiatus. In 2008, Morss, Dan Davine, Shawn Setaro and Rus Wimbish were playing together in the theatrical classical-pop hybrid group, the Infinite Orchestra. In their small practice space in Brooklyn, these skilled musicians hatched a plan to revive Chariots of Tuna. They recorded three songs in that same practice space. Morss sang layers of vocals and overdubbed keyboards late at night while holding his sleeping baby son. Davine engineered and produced the result. Chariots of Tuna returned to life.

Chariots of Tuna wants to bring you great songs. Enjoy!

“I think I have found a new favourite band, a band that has such an effect on me that I want to listen to their songs over and over again and I still want more.” — Eardrums, July 2009

“ … a new favourite we must recommend for listening. Think of a sound that exists somewhere between a polished Beach Boys single and an old dusty album from classic label Homestead Records and you will most likely understand why we are so taken with this music.” — Milk Milk Lemonade, July 2009

“Chariots of Tuna play a lovely baroque alternative pop. The light falsetto vocal harmonies and matching jangle guitars … are just a delight.” — Powerpopaholic, June, 2009

EDIT Jan. 11, 2010: “I’m So Good At Shining” has been reviewed by the indiepop blog Eardrums

Aahhh! A new single from Chariots of Tuna is better than Christmas, and this one is actually better than most things I can think of!

I adored their debut single, as you can see from my review, but the band has really progressed since then, and this is even better than I had dared to hope for. The songwriting is even more to the point, the vocals are more focussed and better, and these two songs are two gorgeous pop-treasures that in my ears are perfect. I am one of those who feel a little pain when I hear ecstatic guitar solos, but on “Seven miles away”, even the guitar solo is good!

I STILL want more…

EDIT Jan. 12, 2010: Review from Milk Milk Lemonade

Since an extended winter cold snap seems to have taken seasonal residence in our little corner of Ohio, we can think of no better way to defrost the ears than with a previously featured artist who has a decidedly warm new guitar pop single to share. Chariots Of Tuna is the oddly named, Brooklyn/Queens, New York four piece we made original mention of last year in July 2009 with their impressive EP Fondness Makes The Heart Grow Distant. If you have the chance, we recommend a visit to our previous review for links that might give a better understanding of the history and accomplishments of the musicians involved with this project. The brand new single from Ben Morss & company is titled I’m So Good At Shining and is now available for free download through lovely Connecticut-based label Tweefort Records (Tweefort MySpace). Once again, we are smitten with what we can only hope might be the precursor to a full-length album for this band.

EDIT Feb. 4, 2010: Chariots of Tuna included in Burning World blog Pod Fodder.

EDIT Feb. 17, 2010: Chariots of Tuna reviewed by Powerpopaholic blog —

Once again Ben Morss and company present a wonderful little EP with two shiny gems “A New Beginning” and “Seven Miles Away” – both are delicate pop candy full of falsetto harmonies and club beats matched with a perfectly placed guitar riff in the latter track. Bring on the full length guys, these freebies just whetted my appetite for more Tuna (In a Chariot).

EDIT April 9, 2010: Onward Chariots reviewed by Another Form of Relief blog —

… Formerly known as Chariots of Tuna (an excellent name in itself), the band is now on a renewed push for indiepop superstardom. The pace that the slightly hushed harmonies propel the song along almost masks just how complex the arrangements on these songs are. Seven Miles Away even has time to rock out just a bit at the end too. It’s all very reminiscent of the dearly missed Beulah. Not exactly the same musically, but this is the closest a band has come to evoking the same kind of feeling to me.

EDIT: Dec. 24, 2010: “I’m So Good at Shining” included on Burning World’s Best of 2010 list.

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One response to “TFR003: “I’m So Good At Shining” by Onward Chariots

  1. Pingback: New single from Chariots of Tuna – “I’m so good at shining” – and it shines! | Eardrums Music

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