Springtime Carnivore is the music that clears your blurry, morning eyes of last night’s dreams and leads you to the day. It is the melody that brings your attention to the lingering sunsets of spring, as insects buzz and whistle around you. It’s sound is fuzzy and full, with intimate lyrics that show the independence and vulnerability of the songwriter, Greta Morgan. Her voice shimmers above the bass lines and dance rock drumbeats, leaning heavily into the beat with subtle inflections that help us see a singer that is at once natural and polished.
The 27-year old Morgan has been a professional for over a decade by now, having started her career with Chicago’s The Hush Sound at 17, before forming Gold Motel out of southern California. But where Gold Motel tended towards more obvious pop melodies and a cleaner, straight edge sound, Springtime Carnivore is smoky and alluring, with stacked keyboards and reverbed-out whistling that bring out a more artistically appealing picture of who Morgan is. Luckily she chose to keep the songs beat-heavy and tight, which helps keep any of them from sounding too folky or lackluster. Vocally, Morgan’s sultry tone could be cautiously placed alongside Lana Del Rey or St. Vincent, although there is the occasional song hook that smacks of Katy Perry and southern California pop production.
There is a clear vein of influence of 70s psychedelia running through her project’s debut album, but she is savvy enough to keep it on a short leash and let the retro aesthetic color her work while never seeming overpowering. In the end it is her vocal stylings, the light-footed rhythmic turns and easy honesty of her voice that convinces the listener. Songs like “Sun Went Black” and “Creature Feature” showcase Morgan’s ambition for an aggressive indie edge that balances out the California sunny-daze pop of “Two Scars” and “Name on a Matchbook.” »
– Ethan Martin
Springtime Carnivore plays live in Portland March 13 @ Doug Fir