Posts Tagged ‘Greta Morgan’

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Hello! My album is out today. Thank you to Meg Duffy, Will Ivy, Greta Morgan and Anna St. Louis for playing on it and making it what it is, Jarvis Taveniere for engineering and playing on it, Drew Fischer for mixing it, Abby Banks for taking the photos and to Kevin and Jeremy for putting it out into the world. And thank you to my friends new and old who have been so kind about it. I believe in music and community now more than ever. Grateful to still be a part of it all.

Night Shop is the new project from Justin Sullivan, drummer for Kevin Morby, The Babies and Flat Worms. and The Ringers, Worriers Like most of Sullivan’s projects, the album is a family affair. His former touring and recording partner in the Kevin Morby band, Meg Duffy (Hand Habits) plays bass on several of the songs and sings backup vocals on a few as well. Flat Worms cohort Will Ivy plays lead guitar on some, while Mare labelmate and soon-to-be touring partner Anna St. Louis sings backup on two songs. The album was engineered by Jarvis Taveniere of Woods and mixed by Drew Fischer who previously worked with Sullivan on Morby’s first two records and The Babies second album Our House On The Hill“When I think about this record, a lyric from A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, comes to mind. It’s the line where Dylan sings, ‘I’ll know my song, well before I starting singing.’ In The Break is the product of someone who has had a lot to say and has waited for the perfect moment to say it.” —Kevin Morby

In The Break is a follow-up to his self-titled EP from 2017. An uncomplicated traipse into folk rock, In the Break isn’t an album meant for picking apart; rather, it’s already cozily knit together, ready for the listener to climb inside and stay awhile. In the Break may be uncomplicated, but it’s not slack. Sullivan balances warm palpability with tight songwriting, resulting in an easy-going batch of brainy rock songs. The album’s lead-off track and first single, “The One I Love,” is a great introduction to Sullivan’s dry wit and spirited folk leanings.

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Springtime Carnivore’s title track from her latest record “Midnight Room” is a slice of subtly enticing, dark pop where worlds are constructed around partners and suns slowly burn out.

Springtime Carnivore’s dropped a video for the title tune, and it’s its own bit of mystery. Animator Kevin Andrews brings the world of a “midnight room” to life with disco balls floating in the sky, faded night shots of the Vegas strip and a TV set flickering “love” in a flooded living room. Throughout the song, Greta Morgan waveringly croons about never stopping her dreams, and in the video, she never actually visits the waking world.

Morgan says of the video:

I usually make a record imagining that it could be the soundtrack to a specific place, whether imagined or real. “Midnight Room” has a starry and surrealist landscape, and Kevin helped create that world visually. Whether it’s a hotel room where the floor is actually made of water, or a classic American car parked on a look-out point on the moon, his creativity brought the song to life in a new way for me. I fell in love with Kevin’s animation the first time I saw it. Springtime Carnivore’s Midnight Room is out now via Bandcamp

Springtime Carnivore - Midnight Room

Greta Morgan is asking a lot of questions on Springtime Carnivore’s sophomore album Midnight Room: “Calling to the dark, is anybody out there?” she ponders on “Face In The Moon.” “Can I ever, ever let you in? Can I ever let you close to me?” she asks on “Raised By Wolves.” Morgan reveals that this web of curiosity spun from a splintering breakup: “I feel like I was asking a lot of questions during the making of the record that I still don’t really have answers to, but at least some of the songs were exploring that territory.”

She does so via a brew of spectral vocals, shadowy piano riffs, wind chimes, wildflowers, and cattails. “Double Infinity” distinctly bears the influence of Beach House/Future Islands producer Chris Coady, which Morgan seems to draw from vocally. “Under The Spell” is a dismally pleasant track that mixes funk inflections with ’80s synth-pop to speak of love’s bewitching cliché: “All the black roses that grow in your heart/ I keep them like a calling card.” The album feels like an hour’s worth of lucid dreaming with images of crushed flowers and shimmering sea glass.

Morgan further explains her mystical vision for Midnight Room: “I wanted the whole thing to feel like you’re looking through a cobalt blue glass, and to get textures that almost feel like being able to see stars in the sky. I wanted it to have this very velvety midnight blue purity to the sound, and I feel like the synthesizers that we used and a lot of the guitar tones we used evoked that kind of visual texture.” The result of her efforts is a dignified and mystically verbose articulation of failed love.

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“Midnight Room”
When Chris Coady and I were nearing the end of our studio time, we tried to sequence the 10 songs we’d recorded and realized that none made sense as an opening track. He told me to go home that night and write the opener. I stayed up very late writing in my bedroom, which is decorated with various shades of midnight and baby blue, so the bridge lyrics, “I see you now/blue on blue/my illusion,” was a direct result of looking around the room while singing. A “Midnight Room” is the metaphorical place that the whole record came from—it represents the feeling of waking up alone in the middle of the night and hearing nothing but your own thoughts. 

“Face in the Moon”
I wrote this song in a 15-minute flash after a week of sleepless nights watching space conspiracy documentaries and listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska and REM’s Murmur. I’ve had recurring dreams about a man who would sleep on a lawn chair outside my house and wake up with comets stuck to his clothes, so the lyric “You’re standing there brushing the comets out of your hair” was a direct result of that. 

“Into The Avalanche”
To me, it’s a statement for how I want to be treated by someone I love: “Don’t control me/ Don’t try to own me/ Don’t keep score/ And I’ll be waiting every night at your door.” It’s about the freedom required within devotion and also about the willingness to step into a stage of uncertainty with another person. 

“Double Infinity”
This song was a direct result of my “poem party” method of songwriting: I write phrases on index cards, cut them up, and then lay them on the floor in a random order. (I usually call this a “poem party” because it feels sort of ceremonial and I often drink some tequila or red wine while doing so.) I start to see patterns and pick out phrases that make sense together. From a production standpoint, this feels the most like a Chris Coady production to me… It makes the most sense sonically in a continuum of his work with Beach House and Future Islands. 

“Raised By Wolves”
This song changed the most from demo to final version. The demo was more of a loose rock and roll tune, but Chris suggested we do a total rearrangement and make it feel mechanical and drum-machine heavy.  He also really pushed for that guitar lead sound, which felt to me like a toy shop exploding and all the toys starting to chime at once. I was a little timid about the direction at first, but it came to be one of my favorite recordings we did together. Playing this one with the live band feels especially great because we blend the feel of the original demo version and the final album version. 

“Nude Polaroids”
This is the most personal song on the record. I narrate it directly to the person it’s about: “You can keep the polaroids where I am posing nude/ Even though I’m leavin’/ I’ll always trust you.” It feels to me like a letter I would write that feels too personal to actually mail. 

“Under the Spell”
I’ve had a series of recurring dreams where members of Fleetwood Mac whisper unreleased songs into my ear. Usually, I just wake up with a vague idea or one lyric of the song as a residual from the dream, but this was a Stevie song that I woke up from and remembered the entire chorus. Chris and I used a Linn drum and Eurorack synth bass to build this one from the ground up. (Sidenote: There is another song that Christine McVie whispered to me years ago that I’ve never finished… Maybe for the next Springtime Carnivore record?) 

“Wires Crossing”
I wrote this song after night of recording with Katy Goodman for our “Take It, It’s Yours” record last fall. The biggest takeaway from recording a covers record of punk covers was my sense of awe about the simplicity of those tunes. We had just tracked Gun Club’s “Sex Beat,” which has the same chords the entire way through and I wanted to write a song that did the same thing and accompany it with simple, clear lyrics. Ta-da: “Wires Crossing” was born. 

“Bad Dream Baby”
This is the only co-write on the record, and I wrote it with my friend Tommy English. Tommy and I had spent eight hours slogging away on an idea that wasn’t working, and when he left the room to grab a cup of coffee, I started goofing around on the piano and humming the lyric, “Don’t even say you’re turning around again…” He walked back in the room and heard what I was playing, and we finished this song entirely in less than 20 minutes. 

“Rough Magic”
One of the opening lyrics of the song is, “Every time I said your name/a field of roses blew up,” which came to me because I had been taking a meditation class last fall that used creative visualization as a way of clearing energy. One thing they do is create symbols with which you gather emotion and energy, then visualize destroying them. A rose is a very pure symbol that was used often in the class, so this lyric to me was about the creation and destruction of emotional energy. 

 

Image of MIDNIGHT ROOM LP - PRE-ORDER

Greta Morgan knows about heartache. Having achieved some distance from the breakup that fueled her second album as Springtime Carnivore, the Los Angeles-based musician can smile at how far she’s come. Navigating the treacherous terrain of an unspooling relationship is no easy feat, but Morgan’s focus on music, poetry, and visual art helped keep her grounded during an emotionally turbulent time.

“It’s like being divorced,” she says, taking a sip of her almond milk latte. “We lived together for a long time. I find that a lot of emotions of the heart wind up coming out in music. This record is basically a 100% emotional reaction to that experience.”

Midnight Room is, indeed, a breakup album, albeit it one dusted with a bit of sugar. Across 10 tracks of spiky guitar pop, Morgan sings about the kind of topics Dusty Springfield built a career on—love, lost love, and how to achieve personal autonomy in the face of both. It’s a song cycle about a universal experience that’s littered with personal details, Morgan navigating sleepless nights, wistful recollections, and relishing the small moments of triumph that come with moving on. In the end, Midnight Room is a victory lap—even if that victory was hard won.

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Midnight Room LP will ship to arrive on or before October 7th release date.

1. Midnight Room
2. Face in the Moon
3. Into the Avalanche
4. Double Infinity
5. Raised By Wolves
6. Nude Polaroids
7. Under the Spell
8. Wires Crossing
9. Bad Dream Baby
10. Rough Dream

250 PRE ORDERS Will come with a set of 4 MIDNIGHT ROOM postcards.

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Katy Goodman (La Sera & Vivian Girls) and Greta Morgan (Springtime Carnivore) took on an ambitious project by covering 10 punk tunes from 70s and 80s and knocked it out of the park. I’m by no means the all-knowing word on punk music. Of the 10 songs on the album, I was really familiar with half while the other half were vaguely familiar or new to me. The ladies transitioned these tunes of frustration and angst sung from a male perspective, and stripped them down and them made all sorts of beautiful with shimmery reverb-laden guitars with beautiful female harmonies.

Naturally, I was initially drawn to the tracks I knew. Bastards Of The Young by The Replacements was my first taste and I must have spun that track 10 times the day they released it. I was absolutely mesmerized on what they did to one of my favorite tunes by The Mats. Next up was Where Eagles Dare by The Misfits. Hearing them harmonize, “I ain’t no goddam son of a bitch, you better think about it, baby” is sexy as fuck. Then I dug into the tunes I didn’t know that well by listening to their version and going back to the original. Ever Fallen In Love by The Buzzcocks just sounds wonderful in their hands. Pay To Cum by Bad Brains turns the tune on its head in a bewildering manner.

I’m usually not that big of a fan of cover albums. But this is every bit as good as The Day of Dead compilation released earlier this year.

KatyGretaMisfits

You might know Katy Goodman as the former bassist of Vivian Girls or as one half of the husband-and-wife indie rock duo La Sera, who coincidentally just announced a big North American tour. But you might not know that Goodman is also a huge fan of ‘70s and ‘80s punk and new wave and in a recent interview she professed her undying love for The Smiths.

Goodman has teamed up with fellow punk aficionado Greta Morgan of Springtime Carnivore to release a full album of punk and new wave covers, appropriately titled Take It, It’s Yours after lyrics heard in the great Replacements song “Bastards of Young”. The cool thing is, they’re not just sticking to covers that seem easy to pull off. The album kicks off with “Over The Edge” by Portland punk legends the Wipers and then covers territory ranging from DC hardcore (Bad Brains’ “Pay to Cum”) to Detroit proto-punk (The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog”).

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But nothing on this album is likely to beat Goodman and Morgan’s cover of the Misfits“Where Eagles Dare”. Originally a bass-heavy burner punctuated by Danzig’s guttural howl, the song has become something else entirely under their direction. As Morgan explains, “This is the song that inspired Take It, It’s Yours in the first place. We were goofing around singing it in my backyard and there was something powerful and interesting about hearing our voices harmonize such a traditionally aggressive song.”

She continues: “The Misfits are one of the punk bands I think of as being most influenced by girl groups of the ‘50s and ‘60s (the other being The Ramones), so somehow our voices really suited these melodies and the simple chord progression.”

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Take It, It’s Yours drops August 26th on Polyvinyl Records. check out the album art and tracklist below.

 Tracklist:
01. Over The Edge (Wipers)
02. Pay to Cum (Bad Brains)
03. Bastards of Young (The Replacements)
04. Sex Beat (The Gun Club)
05. Ever Fallen in Love (Buzzcocks)
06. Where Eagles Dare (The Misfits)
07. I Wanna Be Your Dog (The Stooges)
08. In the City (The Jam)
09. Dreaming (Blondie)
10. Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)

La Sera’s Katy Goodman and Springtime Carnivore’s Greta Morgan have been hanging out and spending their time productively, reworking old punk songs by the likes of Bad Brains, The Misfits, The Stooges and more, calming the frenetic pulse of these songs and creating a much mellower vibe. The collection is called “Take It, It’s Yours”and it’s due out this August.

The first track they dropped was a cover of The Replacements “Bastards of Young” which sounded splendidly feminine and forlorn, and below is their video for their take on “Sex Beat” by LA’s The Gun Club. The original was a jittery punk trackbut in the hands of the girls their song takes on a gilded Laurel Canyon earthiness.
“We decided on a simple performance video for ‘Sex Beat’ to show how the record was made,” explains Greta. “Katy and I played all the instruments on Take It, It’s Yours and filmed this video at CompNY Recording, the studio where we actually made the record with our friend and producer Drew Fischer. This is the first video I’ve ever directed and it was so fun that I’ve started working on a bunch more.”

Meanwhile Katy had this to say: “I’ve loved this song since I was a teenager and found Fire of Love at a record store in Seattle. This is one of the first covers we recorded. It came to life quickly and set an awesome tone for the rest of the record.”

The official music video for Katy Goodman & Greta Morgan’s cover of “Sex Beat” by Gun Club, taken from their 2016 collaborative album Take It, It’s Yours, out 8/26. Directed by Greta Morgan.

KATY GOODMAN + GRETA MORGAN | TAKE IT, IT'S YOURS

Katy Goodman of La Sera and Greta Morgan of Springtime Carnivore have teamed up for an album of punk covers entitled Take It, It’s Yours. The LP features the duo’s takes on songs by the Stooges, Blondie, Bad Brains, and a number of other classic outfits. Morgan provided us with some background behind the project’s origin:

The concept of the record began last September when Katy and I were messing around learning Misfits songs on guitar in my backyard. Once we started singing ‘Where Eagles Dare,” we couldn’t stop. Having female voices and girl group harmonies with the lyrics “I ain’t no goddam son of a bitch, you better think about it, baby” felt like a riveting turnaround.
The lead single from Take It, It’s Yours is a cover of The Replacements’ “Bastards Of Young,” the song from which their album title derives its inspiration. Opening not with a tin wire guitar riff but rather a reverb-dipped breeze reminiscent of Real Estate, Goodman and Morgan sweetly sing Paul Westerberg’s opening lines, “God, what a mess, on the ladder of success/ Where you take one step and miss the whole first rung,” as if they actually came from the last Jenny Lewis album. Replacing Westerberg’s guttural throttle with these women’s harmony-driven delivery shifts the original’s mood of dissatisfied confrontation towards one of sardonic defiance. Oddly enough, they omit the “Take it, it’s yours” section of the original.

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Springtime Carnivore performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded March 11th, 2015.

The debut album from Springtime Carnivore (aka the nom de tune of Greta Morgan) is a dreamy work of ebullient pop and looming psychedelia, evoking a mellow high on a Sunday afternoon, where everything is magnified and glows in Technicolor. Produced by Morgan and sonic wizard Richard Swift (The Black Keys, The Shins, Foxygen), the album crackles with warmth and employs faded strings, blown-out drums, fuzzy guitars, and pawnshop keyboards to adorn widescreen vocals. It builds on a foundation of classic folk and pop songwriting, synthesizing those roots with capricious production that turns and careens unexpectedly, casting her melodic songs in varied light and from surprising angles. The songs sound familiar and utilize classic approaches, but are skewed and distinctly modern. There’s an index card tacked to the wall of Morgan’s rehearsal space. It reads “no cheap tricks,” and its command is heeded on Springtime Carnivore’s 14 heavenly songs.

This Springtime Carnivore record that Greta Morgan released in the last parts of 2014 didn’t come out of nowhere, but it kinda did catch us by surprise. It didn’t surprise us that it was good, but it surprised us that it was so good it hurt. Over the last few years, one of the most vogue things to do has been to record an album of lo-fi beach jams that’s supposed to get beloved just for the beachy parts and because it feels so lusciously aloof. There’s a strange malaise to most of these records. Springtime Carnivore’s self-titled debut is a whole other thing completely. It’s breezy and yet dense as a bolt. Greta Morgan’s songs about the many frivolous and often fascinating sides to that lunatic activity of love, that we all so frequently engage in, are staggeringly complex, but still fall-off-the-bone tender and chewy. She’s made one of those beachy doo-wop records that you never knew you needed in your life until it came along.