Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It's a flimsy assumption, but there's a tendency to think that when a girl is as stunning and charming as Gold Motel lead singer Greta Morgan is, that she couldn't or shouldn't have as many woesome, love-gone-wrong troubles as the rest of us - the uglier and less charming, as it were. We snort out a dismissal with our nose and we roll our eyes, bothering to do so candidly, commenting that she is someone who couldn't possibly have all that much trouble with men. We watch late night talk shows and laugh at celebrity profiles, where the beautiful model or actress tells all that she has a hard time getting guys to ask them out. Perhaps, these are two separate discussions and we demur thinking further too much. There is, however, this feeling throughout Morgan's writing for her old band, The Hush Sound, and even more so with this new band, that she has an unfortunate streak with guys, or she just knows how to write about them believably. We tend to think that it takes some hands-on experience with heartbreak on a certain scale and lots of it to do the wrenching feeling, not just an amount of justice, but also to give it a bit of pop levity that she's so good at. She pulls from these rather dark quips about failed romances, light rays of sunshine that seem to pour out and provide the song with a tint of breeziness instead of a pall. It's as if she's almost happy to be in such a state (it feels danceable and likeable, you know?), as if she can smile about it now and offer out some advice, based on what she's learned the hard way. Gold Motel, a band that Morgan formed with her friend Dan Duszynski and some of his old This Is Me Smiling bandmates while The Hush Sound was/is broken up last year, gives us songs that make love sound like heartburn and Morgan writes of star-crossed lovers magnificently. She depicts the characters in her songs as either coming to or leaving love, mostly at the wrong times. Those coming to love are coming into hopeless situations that are bound to disintegrate instantaneously and those leaving love seem to be doing so just as things might be turning for the better. It all would make you swear the emotion and all of its sticky inner-weavings off for good if the band didn't make it sound..almost…enticing. It's as if all of these people have already gotten the closure they need on the sorry situations and now they're throwing a glitter party. When Morgan sings, "Always leave before the lights go on/Before the party ends…/Always leave before tomorrow comes/All the greatest loves are the unfinished ones," she's ultimately singing about a terrible lacking in two people (maybe one more particularly) and yet, it's not the end of the world. It sure is a depressing thought to think that "all the greatest loves are the unfinished ones," as those grannies and grandfathers married for 50-some years might protest, but Gold Motel sure makes it sound like it's gonna be alright.