Gold Motel Breaks Through

Courtesy Greta Morgan

I’ve been sitting on Gold Motel’s most recent release, Summer House, for the past few days, soaking it up and really trying to put together an accurate review on this one. I’ve now listened to it a few times over and boy did I really soak up its summer sound. The album itself has an almost intricate simplicity; it feels laid back and stripped down, yet multiple layers really come together to make each song sound incredibly complete.

Most tracks consist of just guitar, bass, drums, and vocals yet everything feels diverse. Reverb and tremolo come in and out of play in true beach style 60’s music as best exemplified by the title track. In “Stealing the Moonlight” quick palm mutes and dual vocals create a sound that will be loved by those who spent high school with Rilo Kiley.

When you listen to “We’re on the Run,” the playful strums high up on the fretboard could easily be mistaken for a Vampire Weekend song. Other songs on the album such as “Who Will I Be Tonight” add keys to create more of a soulful and shorter feel to the album, as lead singer Greta Morgan seems to look back at a relationship.

It would be impossible to mention the band without discussing the fact that Morgan first reached fame as the pianist and one of the singers of The Hush Sound. While fans of that project are almost guaranteed to have their ears perk up by Gold Motel, it’s important to note that Gold Motel shouldn’t be written off as The Hush Sound. In many ways, it’s a more grown up sound. There’s more indie twang, less piano, and certainly more of a SoCal vibe.

Much of this beachy vibe likely stems from the fact that when looking for inspiration for the album, Morgan moved to Los Angeles where she became involved in the music scene and would go to five or six concerts per week.

The overall album is a solid release that stands on its own, yet pulls from numerous other successful bands. It’s quick, it’s catchy, and most importantly it proves to be an all around fun album. Simply put, I’ll be actively waiting for album number two.

Fans of the band can check out a live performance this Wednesday as Gold Motel opens up for Kate Nash at The House of Blues. In many ways, these acts prove to be a perfect pairing. Morgan, while still young, will most likely find herself to be in Nash’s spot in the near future and we’ll all be in for a treat.