Finding a vacant niche in Calgary's music scene is not an easy task.
For two years, Nine Miles to Morgan have carved themselves a place on the emo/pop/rock shelf.
"We don't really consider ourselves an emo band" says guitarist/vocalist Scott Bennie. "I guess because our lyrics are a bit emotional. We're a bit poppier. It doesn't really bother us."
Bennie is joined by bassist/vocalist Cam Brass, drummer Daniella Booth, and original guitarist Patrick May who returned two months ago, replacing Al Irving.
Drawing on their pool of experience in the local band ocean from stints in Rosco Pecoe, Jon American Car, Non Prophet and the Ellen Jamieson Society, they have managed to achieve a tight and clean sound.
"Calgary has a pretty wide range of bands right now. There's only a few garage bands, only a few brit-pop bands, a few space bands," explains Bennie. "All of us are in the same pot. We have a tough time when we play a bar show, trying to find two bands that sound like us."
With alternating vocalists and powerful song structure, Nine Miles to Morgan in particular stand out.
However, the collaboration has brought the most success in terms of songwriting and group dynamics.
"Someone will come in with a part or two, and we all pick it apart and arrange it," says Bennie. "It's quite the group effort.
"The end result is good. It takes us a long time to write songs, but by the time we're all done with it we're quite happy with it. It's got enough tricks and stuff to make it interesting and challenging to play."
The feat is usually accomplished, either in live performances or on their four song EP, Great Plains. With soaring guitars and winding bass lines, Nine Miles weaves from slower intense numbers to loud, crunchy, belt-your-gut-out songs.
To experience the sensation that is Nine Miles to Morgan, head to the Ship and Anchor on Dec. 15 for a food bank benefit, or to the Night Gallery on Dec. 17 as they play with Laza Blasta and Earthquake Pills.