April 25, 2013

EP: Morgan Spaner - Salty Strawberry

Morgan Spaner gives us five salty-sweet songs to chew on.

The first time I went to College Park, Maryland was this past January. It was the dead of winter; Emily and I were bored as shit in New Jersey so we decided to road trip down. Not only did I get a tour of a college town other than my own, but also a sneak peak inside of the relatively underground music scene there. Unfortunately, I was not lucky enough to experience one of the main attractions – Tricot Records' (almost) monthly showcases. But from what I've heard, the independent label promotes local bands, the preservation of cassette tapes, and a cozy DIY atmosphere. If I had been able to attend, I probably would've seen Tricot's Morgan Spaner – I've been hooked on her short anti-folk numbers from the moment Emily shared them with me. Since then we had the honor of premiering one of her tracks, "Ego", a few months back. "Ego" impressed us with its sharp wits, atypical lyrics, and simple acoustic vibe. It also happens to be one of the songs on Salty Strawberry.

A lot of things come to mind with the phrase "salty strawberry." It seems like a contradiction because we tend to order our strawberries sweet. However, this might be the only way to describe Morgan's style. Self-proclaimed "angry girl music" via silly bandcamp tags tell us what she's all about. Her songs have such raw emotion that this statement is true with an invisible disclaimer: they are also so much more. Emotions other than anger show through in all five tracks; most are confessional and express vulnerability through clever sarcasm. For example, "Your New Ex-Stripper Girlfriend" is an anti-love letter to an ex but Morgan approaches it in a way that makes us smirk. She doesn't ask for our pity with sad-funny lines like "I hope you like your new ex-stripper girlfriend / thank god I'll never have a Backstreet Boys tattoo." Emily drew comparisons between Morgan and Kimya Dawson with the premiere of "Ego." In much the same vein, Salty Strawberry gives strength to women in music, and is a great testament that girls are smart, witty, and strong. I think I listened to "Being Cool Is Super Hard" 1,000,000 times in the last week for those exact reasons. In many ways, it's an anthem for every girl (or guy) who's felt insecure trying to impress someone "I'm late in every uncool way / cause I'm the only fat girl here / and I don't think that I should stay." It's not a new concept but the way Morgan hits high sweet notes and cooes marshmallow-soft harmonies makes me want to listen to this forever.


Listen more Morgan Spaner via bandcamp or Tricot Records.

Written by Diana Cirullo