It was a scorchingly hot– but not atypically so– early August evening at Codfish Hollow Barn in 2010 when I was turned on to Gold Motel.
The barn has a tendency of stockpiling the day’s heat and the best thing you can do is get outside occasionally and look for shade or maybe a breeze. Fronted by the blond siren Greta Morgan, Gold Motel was the perfect execution of retro 60’s girl-band-meets-Debbie Harry jangly pop and by the time they hit the stage any plans I had to get outside for a respite were quickly dashed. I was quickly minted as a fan and within a few months their debut album Summer House came out on vinyl. In 2012, they followed up with their equally-wonderful self-titled album and then that was it from the band and Morgan.
Starting in 2013 Morgan started releasing songs and videos under the cryptic solo moniker Springtime Carnivore. The songs still have the beautiful soaring melodies that we came to expect from her, but the sonics are more wall-of-sound– big roomy reverb washes over everything and the spit-and-polish from Gold Motel has been replaced with the fuzziness and compression of what sounds like tape distortion. The sunny melodies songs seem to also belie a subtle darkness. Maybe that is what a Springtime Carnivore is– something that dares rip its canines into flesh during a time of seasonal renewal and birth.
This new spin on her sound seems to have been influenced by working with producer Richard Swift (also of The Shins, and currently touring bass player for The Black Keys).
Springtime Carnivore was picked up by Autumn Tone– the label run by the folks at Aquarium Drunkard and will be releasing the debut LP on November 4th. The first single is “Name on a Matchbook” and along with “Sun Went Black” you have a good sampling o the sound.
“Sun Went Black” reminds me of The Cure (like “Close to Me”).
The leadoff track on the album “Collectors” (if you don’t include the opening short instrumental “Western Pink”) was a 7″ single last year with “Two Scars” on the flipside.
Also included on the album are “Creature Feature” and “Two Scars” which where previously released as videos. They are both directed by Eddie O’Keefe whose soundtrack to his 2011 film “The Ghosts” had a song from Greta Morgan on it.
Springtime Carnivore will be kicking off a North American tour as a band starting this week. Here are the dates:
SPRINGTIME CARNIVORE TOUR DATES:
Thu. Oct. 16 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Mayan w/ Of Montreal
Fri. Oct. 24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade (Aquarium Drunkard showcase – CMJ)
Sat. Oct. 25 – New York, NY @ Pianos (Bowery Presents Day Party – CMJ)
Sat. Oct. 25 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom w/ Sam Roberts Band, Water Liars, Dilly Dally (CMJ)
Tue. Oct. 28 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar w/ Generationals
Wed. Oct. 29 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop w/ Generationals
Thu. Oct. 30 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall w/ Generationals
Sat. Nov. 1 – Madison, WI @ Freakfest
Sun. Nov. 2 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave & 7th Entry w/ Generationals
Wed. Nov. 12 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour w/ Generationals
Thu. Nov. 13 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel w/ Generationals
Sat. Nov. 15 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile w/ Generationals
Sun. Nov. 16 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge w/ Generationals
Mon. Nov. 17 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret w/ Generationals
You can pre-order the CD or vinyl version through Amazon: