Writing a pop song is "nice," says singer Kyle Morris. "But if you have pop song that has another layer, it becomes something else."
Songs with multiple meanings dominate Bed of Liars, the second EP by Morris' band the Unlikely Candidates. The Fort Worth pop-rock group is best known for its idealistic 2013 hit "Follow My Feet," but some of Morris' hopefulness went into the garbage alongside the band's contract with Atlantic Records.
"It's an age-old story: Once we got to Atlantic, they didn't know what to do with us and we got left behind," says Morris, explaining why the group recorded an album that was never released.
Bed of Liars, which comes out Feb. 17 on the multi-national Another Century Records, is more dance and rhythm-oriented than the Unlikely Candidates' Follow My Feet EP. But Morris continues to write philosophic lyrics examining the human condition in tunes like "Violence," "Your Love Could Start a War" and "The Best Things In Life Aren't Free."
"This new EP is more in the thick of it -- less existential and more based on messy internal conflicts," says Morris.
"A lot of times I use relationships as a metaphor for the social climate ... violence in America, war overseas, the push and pull of power between state and civilian. I pick up those conflicts and use them in the form of a relationship song."
He says some of tunes on Bed of Liars were influenced by Taipei, Tao Lin's 2013 novel about disaffection in the modern age. He wrote other songs based on people he observed in Los Angeles, where the band recorded the EP. (The other Unlikely Candidates are bassist Jared Hornbeek, drummer Kevin Goddard and guitarists Cole Male and Brenton Carney.)
"You watch these scene-sters making idle conversation and at some point, everything felt very, very superficial. Nothing felt real anymore," he says. "I imagined a world where concepts like love and soul didn't exist."
Some observers questioned Unlikely Candidates' own authenticity after hearing Morris' fake English accent on 2013's "Follow My Feet."
"I used I get that a lot," Morris says with a laugh. He claims he wasn't even conscious of his faux Limey vocal tick until fans started asking him about it.
"I used to listen to a lot of British music and my main model for singing was Robert Plant. But I'm definitely more aware of that now ... and I kicked the habit."
The Unlikely Candidates perform March 11 at The Dallas Observer St. Patrick's Day Concert with Jimmy Eat World and Rooney, and March 30 at Dada.