Favored Nations is Morgan Phalen & James Curd, based in Australia/Los Angeles/Stockholm.
Favored Nations may have one of the more delightfully diverse resumes in music today. Warm vocal melodies, bouncy baselines, understated disco-tinged guitar lines, perhaps a handclap or two, and and some therapeutic synth work.
While in Los Angeles to music supervise the film Crush, James Curd recently met singer Morgan Phalen. You may recognize Morgan's vocals from the psychy second LP by Justice, "Audio Video Disco" or heard his band Diamond Nights. Morgan and James traded ideas back and forth from LA to Australia, where James then looped in Surahn. Surhan is a multi talented instrumentalist and he added his unique bass and guitar to the sound. Together, the chemistry of the core three members was strong, and they naturally evolved into a serious band after a few very promising demos were cut in early 2012.
At this point, the three settled on a name, calling themselves Favored Nations, a reference to the international interconnectedness of their lives, and enlisted the help of four very accomplished producers to tease the most interesting sounds out of them: Joey Waronker (Beck, Atoms for Peace).
Production has continued, and the result is a sound that is marinated in AOR, nu disco, and sun-soaked earnestness. Favored Nations sounds like this: warm vocal melodies, bouncy baselines, understated disco-tinged guitar lines, perhaps a handclap or two, and and some therapeutic synth work. Their music works wherever vocally-led pop confections are welcome: the pool, the radio, the convertible.
Their four upcoming EPs will be released this summer (or winter depending on which hemisphere you are on).
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