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New York City's Morningwood brought a delightfully trashy and hedonistic sense of fun to alternative pop/rock in the early 21st century. Led by vocalist Chantal Claret, whose colorful and sexy approach owed much to the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde and the Divinyls' Christina Amphlett, the Big Apple foursome formed in 2001, molding elements of hard rock, punk, new wave, and glam rock into a sex-driven amalgam of sound. Core members Claret and bassist Pedro Yanowitz (an ex-member of the Wallflowers, for whom he played drums) had originally met at a birthday party, while guitarist Richard Steel (formerly of the band Spacehog) and drummer Japa Keenon O climbed aboard soon after. In 2003, Morningwood recorded their self-titled debut EP, which they released independently on their own Rockhardcock Records label; they followed its release with a four-track EP titled It's T***. The band then signed to Capitol Records on the strength of its live show, which had earned an infamous reputation in New York for its good-natured sexuality and sweaty energy. Producer Gil Norton signed on to helm the band's debut album, Morningwood, which was released in early 2006. Morningwood gained some exposure in 2009 when their song "The Best of Me" was chosen as the theme song for VH1's Daisy of Love. Later that year, the band released its sophomore record, Diamonds & Studs. ~ Alex Henderson

Top Songs


2001 in New York City

Years Active:

'00s, '10s