Photo of POP ETC by Alex Walsh

Following a nearly four-year gap since their last album, POP ETC last month released their new record, Souvenir, which frontman Chris Chu calls a "very intentional" work.

"We took our time with this album," says Chu, speaking with Variance before the band's album release. "And we were patient with ourselves because we didn’t want to put out a record we weren’t excited about. So we waited until we had something we were passionate about and I think fans sense that and they gravity toward it.

Further explaining the timespan between albums, Chu recalls that they "constantly tweaked these songs. Every one of the songs on the album have six different versions. Some of them have up to 14 or 15 versions, with different arrangements or choruses we rewrote. We made sure everything fit together the way we wanted. It’s very intentional."

The time and attention Chu and his bandmates gave to the new music has paid off. And thanks to airplay for single "What Am I Becoming?" on SiriusXM's Alt Nation, listeners are discovering the band for the first time and their fan base continues to grow.

"It’s great to see it spreading," Chu says of the track, which is an addictive and repeat-worthy pop cut. "And I’m glad it is one of the first songs many new fans are hearing. That’s their introduction to us and to the album."

The timing couldn't be better either, as POP ETC (formerly known as the Morning Benders) will hit the road later this month alongside fellow rising acts BANNERS and The Moth & The Flame on a tour sponsored by Alt Nation.

In addition to a stop at SXSW in Austin next month, Chu says he's already looking ahead at more tour dates and new music, specifically the new album from Variance FutureSounds vets WATERS.

"We have the tour and then I’ve got a couple weeks working on the new WATERS record," says Chu, who worked on the band's 2015 album What's Real. "We’re stoked for this next one. And then after the tour, we plan on getting to Japan and there’s been more talk about touring more in America. So it will probably be a busy year."

Souvenir is out now and the band's tour begins Feb. 29.

See POP ETC's upcoming tour dates below.

02/29 — Minneapolis, MN — Triple Rock Social Club *

03/01 — Chicago, IL — Subterranean *

03/02 — Detroit, MI — The Shelter *

03/04 — Toronto, ON — Adelaide Hall *

03/07 — Boston, MA — Brighton Music Hall *

03/08 — New York, NY — Santos Party House *

03/10 — Philadelphia, PA — The Foundry at The Fillmore *

03/11 — Washington, DC — U Street Music Hall *

03/12 — Atlanta, GA — Terminal West at King Plow Arts Center *

03/15 — Houston, TX — House of Blues: Bronze Peacock *

03/19 — Dallas, TX — House of Blues: Cambridge Room *

03/21 — Denver, CO — Marquis Theatre *

03/22 — Salt Lake City, UT — Club Sound *

03/24 — Seattle, WA — Chop Suey *

03/25 — Portland, OR — Doug Fir Lounge *

03/28 — San Francisco, CA — Social Hall SF *

03/30 — Los Angeles, CA — Club Bahia *

03/31 — San Diego, CA — House of Blues *

* with BANNERS and The Moth & The Flame