Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
The sense that Neal Morgan makes is all his own.
We can take partial little grabs at it, but he keeps most of it for himself and there's nothing wrong with that. These are impressionist stabs at getting to the center of thoughts that are neither here nor there, but they're the ones that come to him when he least expects it. They are more than dreamy, but still they feel as if they are rooted in actual happenings/things witnessed. It's in the interpretation of them that everything gets happily psychedelic and strange.
One song here features Morgan working some loops of himself saying/singing "dreams," "dreaming," "dreamy," other variations on the word dream, as he tells a story about eavesdropping on some teens "splashing and loving on each other" in a quarry in North Carolina. One of the younger girls climbs the bank, takes the rope and swings out over the water. And that's it. That's all there is to the story, as the clutter of many Morgans singing "dreaming" continues and then fades out. She never even lets go of the rope in the story he tells. She just linger there, out over the water - suspended permanently.
Another song serves as a reaction to a Philip Guston painting from 1970 that drove Morgan wild. The small amount of lyric in the song is fascinating and brilliantly bewildering. He sings, "Passed out on a couch in colors/I so badly want to be/That sonic orange/In the evidence/Near the red sea/The swell/The blue light/A tangle of legs/Shoe under neck/A pointing finger and two old nails bent into wood/A hood and a club/Maybe blood/Napping in just the right humidity/One day I/If I work hard enough/One day I/If I work hard enough/Will make my own evidence/Wish I could talk to you/Tell you how it stopped me in my tracks and I shook and I prayed a little/Wished Cass were with me/Oh I did so badly want to be/Torn apart/Shown a door/Broken into and left out on the street in some other world, lost but found/And maybe found again later."
Neal Morgan Official Site
Drag City Records