Meet the Morningsiders: Columbia University band makes Lafayette debut

Rachel Rubino

The Morningsiders, a self-described folk-pop Americana band, is composed of five fun-loving, vibrant, and talented young men who met their freshman year at Columbia University. The band will be performing at Lafayette tonight.

Officially formed in 2012, Morningsiders has performed numerous times around college campuses over the past year. The band plans to release their premier EP this spring.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Magnus Ferguson describes Morningsider’s sound to be “extremely influenced by classic rock, old-time Americana, sea shanties, and 90s soft rock.”

“We all come from different musical backgrounds and try to meet in the middle,” Ferguson said, speaking on behalf of the group. “From a songwriting perspective, we try to take traditional folk templates and introduce something new, like by messing with the meter.”

Performing with an eclectic lineup of instruments, such as the ukulele, cello, piano, violin, trumpet, bass, and guitar, the band’s music takes on a melody reminiscent of popular indie bands such as Vampire Weekend and Mumford & Sons.

Ferguson and vocalist/fiddler Reid Jenkins collaborate to write the music.

“We try to write honest, intimate music about our home in the Upper West Side of New York,” Ferguson said.

The lyrics reflect the closeness that the band aims to covey, like in the feel-good melody of their song “Empress,” which croons, “Lady is running through my veins, lady, why won’t you look at me? Lady, what else is there to see?”

“That’s what draws us to folk,” Ferguson said, “-the creation of a space where you can be brutally honest and that’s okay,” Ferguson said. “Even if it’s just for 45 minutes to an hour, it’s pretty awesome for everyone to come together.”

Morningsider’s show at Lafayette is their last before the band returns to the recording studio.