Onward Chariots

Onward Chariots

 New York City, New York, USA

Audiences worldwide have thrilled to the scintillating pop magic of Onward Chariots. Through four festival appearances, two European tours, several EPs and compilations, and now a 16-track conceptual album, the Brooklyn band's intense musicianship and unique craftmanship is... uh... &@#^@%*#!@!!?!


Onward Chariots, a little indie pop group from Brooklyn, posted their first songs on myspace in the spring of 2009, and it didn’t take long for their music to spread around the world. Blogs from Italy to Brazil praised their intricate melodies, luminous vocal harmonies, and scintillating guitars. Pop compilations in the U.S., Germany, England, and Norway featured their music. Their songs were played on radio stations in diverse places like Greece, Spain, and Indonesia.

In 2010, they played at the England’s Indietracks Festival and the Athens Pop festival, toured the U.K., released a single on fabled Spanish indie-pop label Elefant Records, and starred in a hit stop-motion video. In 2011, they again toured Europe and put out another new EP.

On January 29, 2013, the first full-length Onward Chariots album will be released, a 16-track conceptual album that tells a story and features music in diverse styles and elaborate orchestrations. Promotion is already underway for this musical milestone-to-be!

Reviewers and fans compare Onward Chariots' pop gems to the Beach Boys, Beulah, the La's, Teenage Fanclub, and Belle and Sebastian, among others. Everything is recorded and produced in the band members’ practice space and apartments.

Singer-songwriter Ben Morss may or may not have also played keyboard on albums by Cake, Wheatus, and Josh Joplin and with California acid-jazz acid-heads 11:11 at festivals like SXSW and NXNW. His poppy punk band, The Pilgrims, was alternately loved or hated by college radio stations across the U.S., and he has proven his twee credentials by co-writing two musicals based on the Angelina Ballerina book and TV series. He’s currently working on a rock musical about anarchists. Guitarist Shawn Setaro has played and/or recorded with The Dresden Dolls, Taking Back Sunday, Martin Bisi (producer, Sonic Youth, The Swans), Bob D’Amico (Fiery Furnaces, Sebadoh), Charlie Zeleny (Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater, Broadway’s Rock of Ages), Susan Aquila (Paul McCartney, Whitney Houston), Sarah Bowman (Rasputina), Ben Morss (Cake, Wheatus), The Lordz (formerly Lordz of Brooklyn), Alina Simone, and more. Currently Shawn is Editor-in-Chief of Rap Genius.


Save Me Maryann

Written By: Ben Morss

Something you looked for for so many years:
What a surprise when it comes in a moment,
And, crossing the mountains of tears,
Stakes a new claim on the peak of the suffering.
Led by a vision of faith,
Something you saw in a dream,
Writes a new page on the face of the fears,
Over the face of screams.

Oh come and save me, Maryann.
Oh come and save me, Maryann.
Oh you can show me, Maryann,
Oh show me where to roam.
Every ambition strikes home.

In a new country, I pick up the phone,
And through the wires I make a new contact now.
And the clouds slip away.
There's a new day as the sky makes an opening.
Despite the dying storm, I find it hard to feel warm.
Takes more than her wordlings, more than her smiles
To carry across the miles.

Oh come and save me, Maryann.
Oh come and save me, Maryann.
Oh you can play me Maryann,
Oh like a xylophone.
Don't leave me here all alone.

Back in the world, you can float in a daze,
Like a balloon that a child let go too soon.
So you look for a weight,
Something to let out the air so you deflate.
This is the highest of things.
This is the purest of pure.
How can I hold it when you're not there,
Emptiness at my door?

Oh come and save me, Maryann.
Oh come and save me, Maryann.
Oh I believe in Maryann like she believes in me,
Counting the days til we're free.

War Hero

Written By: Ben Morss

In the distance there is thunder
As you come down out of the clouds.
Four long years I have been waiting.
The sky is dark but there is light.
The rushing fills my ears.
The wind, it carries away tears.
Now the world is filled by the sound as you come.

Every day you lived with danger.
It was your friend, like a warm bath.
Back at home, I darned my stockings,
Watched Mickey Mouse, saved chicken fat.
While you were killing men, I planted a Victory Garden.
Now the world is filled by the sound as you come.

Oh, faith is all you have when you lead a love by letters.
Is it everything you need?
If love is all you have, and love is all you need,
Then why are all us people living lives of misery?

Every day in things around me
I could catch hints that you were there,
Something in the crowded places,
Flash of a voice, shine of a hair.
I hope you still love me.
I wonder what I will see.
Now at least the veils are falling away.

I met men every day,
And they all had things to offer,
And they thought they could fill my needs.
But you are my hero.
I hold your memory,
A rope that I grab on to when I fear I’m falling free.

Oh, you are my war hero,
You rise above the crowd,
A note of peace when everything is loud.
You’re everything I hoped for,
The light that fills my sky.
And you put the tears here in my eye.

A New Beginning

Written By: Ben Morss

I never thought that I would matter in that way.
I never would have guessed that one of us would cry today.
A window opened. Now I don't know where I am.
Why can't we just stay where we began?

A new beginning,
Another end.
This is forever
If we pretend.

You never thought that you would want to try again.
You never figured you would give so much to anyone.
When I appeared, you tossed your caution on the floor,
Back to run the race you lost before.

A new beginning,
Another dream.
This could be magic
Or just a scheme.
I have seen this road before.
I have opened up a door to find, behind it, there is nothing like the sun.
How to end the start once it's begun?

A new beginning,
Another dream.
This could be magic
Or just a scheme.
I have seen this road before.
I have opened up a door to find there's nothing there I couldn't live without.
Once that happens, all there is is doubt.

This is My Confession

Written By: Ben Morss

This is my confession. The only way I have to make you see.
It was my obsession. It made me into who I shouldn’t be.
Oh, hear before you leave.

You tell me that I lied to you. But every lie begins as truth.
I did what any desperate man would do.

This is my confession. I didn’t mean to turn out how I am.
You can learn my lesson. The rescue didn’t turn out how I planned.
You need to understand.

You saw us in a fantasy. But that’s not you, and that’s not me.
The castles fall and that’s ok. A baby’s smile can take your breath away.

This is my confession. The noble quest that led me through the dirt.
I was on a mission. She didn’t say it hurt.

I sang a hymn of light and truth,
Of rosy dreams and desperate youth.
I tried to ride a shining star.
I beat a path with my guitar.
I begged and yelled, I prayed and failed.
But all to find the Holy Grail.
I slaughtered thousands. No one knew.
And don’t you see the only goal was you?

Check out my obsession.
An endless loop. It goes on and on and on and on and on until you’re gone.
This is my confession!

Sisters and Brothers

Written By: Ben Morss

Sisters and brothers, sisters and brothers. Sisters and brothers.
Sisters and brothers, sisters and brothers. There for each other.
Brothers and sisters, brothers and sisters. Shouldn't I miss her?
I call and you don't care. You talk and I just stare.

So it wasn't endless summertime.
But we were amazing in our prime. And that means something still.
Did I leave you so offended?
Can't I get inside and mend it?

Sisters and brothers, sisters and brothers. Always together.
Sisters and brothers, sisters and brothers. It lasted forever.
Brothers and sisters, brothers and sisters. Is this history?
We do the best we can. I wish you'd understand.

Now you say you knew it all along.
When we sang the seasons like a song, did you know it then?
As I played, you danced so sweetly.
How could someone change completely?

Sisters and brothers, sisters and brothers. We were outstanding.
Can't we just pretend that nothing's changed?

The endless lawn is empty. The family room is bare.
All that's left are dusty stories no one wants to share.
Tiny words on birthdays, maybe send a card.
Dusty swingset rusting in the yard.

But did we wake up at dawn to roll on the lawn,
Yelling like fools as we splashed in the pool?
Crying and smiling, there on our island,
Sharing our trouble, safe in our bubble,
Playing at DJs, wearing our PJs.
We had it all, or were we just smaller?

Sisters and brothers, sisters and brothers. Is this so final?
Sisters and brothers, sisters and brothers. Vanished like vinyl.
Brothers and sisters, brothers and sisters. Wondering what I've done.
You took a different name. But I still feel the same.
Gone for good and I'm the one to blame.

Forever Never Ends

Written By: Ben Morss

We’re smiling out loud. And that collapses into giggles, which collapse into embrace.
We kiss in a crowd. It feels so natural to shiver at the feeling of your face.

Suddenly we're soulmates. Kissing 'cause we can.
The sun is shining bright at 3 am.
This light will last forever ‘cause forever never ends.

We lie in a pile. It feels so natural. I don’t know why we didn’t yesterday.
We touch for a while. There are no boundaries. I’m happy we will always be this way.

We’re innocent as babies. Never felt so pure.
Everything is fresh and clean and warm.
Living in a movie as forever never ends.

It's sunshine in a bottle, a vision in your hand.
Try it then you try to understand.
We float into tomorrow ‘cause forever never ends.

Though I know that summers always end,
Who’s to say it has to end today?
And though I know that beauty fades away,
Forever’s here to stay.

The shimmering is fading. The morning cracks our eyes.
The second hand is dropping its disguise.

I always will remember and forever’s always real.

You Don't Have to be Unhappy

Written By: Ben Morss

You don't have to be unhappy. You don't have to feel ignored.
You talk to your guy, he barely replies 'cause he's bored.
Maybe he is built like a statue. So he drives a fancy car.
When you are talking to me, you'll be the star.

I care. I'm happy when you share.
‘Cause is life is so lonely. We can't spend it hiding in the sand.
It's better with a friend.
And while we are talking I will smile and gently hold your hand.
I'll help you understand.

You don't have to feel uneasy. You don't have to be alone,
Hold it inside or cry to your mom on the phone.
I am not your average hero. There's no flowers in my hair.
But when all the heroes are gone, I will be there.

Just shout. It's good to get it out.
‘Cause life is so hard and full of stories you must tell.
I listen very well.
I want to know everything about your boyfriend's cheating ways.
I'm gonna take his place.

I listen. I listen. You don't know what you're missin'.
I listen. I listen. I listen so well.
I listen. I listen. And soon we might be kissin'.
I listen. I listen. I listen so well.


This is My Confession - first full-length - Skipping Stones Records, January 2013

Onward Chariots/Lazy Lorelei -- split EP - Dufflecoat Records, 2011

Save Me Maryann -- vinyl and digital single - Elefant Records, 2010

Indietracks CD -- compilation, Make Do and Mend, 2010

Between Two Waves -- compilation, Eardrums Music, 2010

Fondness Makes the Heart Grow Distant EP -- February Records, 2010

I'm So Good at Shining EP - February Records, 2009

Home and Away -- compilation, Tweefort Records, 2009

Schnick Schnack Schnuck Records -- compilation, 2009

Songs from these records have been played on internet and terrestrial stations and podcasts in the U.S., Brazil, Spain, Greece, Italy, the Phillippines, and more.

Set List

we will tickle your ears with some of the following songs... or we might just surprise you!

I Want Everything
A New Beginning
I Just Met a Girl
This is My Confession
Seven Miles Away
Mel Gibson
Forever Never Ends
Get Me out of This Party
Shake & Bake
I Found Me
War Hero
Save Me Maryann
Sisters and Brothers
When You're Smiling
You Don't Have to Be Unhappy