Springtime Carnivore

Springtime Carnivore

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Imagine a clever pop girl like Lesley Gore passing through a window in time and arriving in 2014, where she has access to Pro Tools and synthesizers and doesn't have to play nice for any boys, and you start to get an idea of what Springtime Carnivore is all about. Springtime Carnivore is a project from singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Greta Morgan, best known for her work with Gold Motel and the Hush Sound. While she has help from producer Richard Swift on three songs, the healthy majority of this album is just Morgan and bassist Chris Faller in her practice space, although she manages to make the songs sound big enough to disguise the modesty of their creation. Morgan is smart enough not to force the retro aspects of her vocals or melodies, but she allows them to rise to the surface of their own free will, and there are more than a few flashes of girl group pop and Motown-style R&B that are visible through the cool banks of keyboards that make up the bulk of Morgan's songs. While much of Springtime Carnivore walks in a Twilight Zone between indie pop and clever appropriations of the past, Morgan does manage to reveal a personality of her own over the course of these 14 tracks, and she comes off as clever, confident, and a sure hand with a tune on this set, while her voice suggests a meeting between Dusty Springfield and Kate Bush (if her voice has less range than the former, she's thankfully less melodramatic than the latter). A smart and resourceful exercise in pop that works on several levels, Springtime Carnivore is an impressive calling card from an artist who clearly has interesting things up her sleeve.

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