WASHINGTON, August 18, 2012 – It would be hard to find a brighter and more uplifting band than Gold Motel. During their set at Jammin’ Java on a recent Monday night, despite the conflicting time of day, the band typified the metaphorical notion of pure sunshine as they played through the evening.
Gold Motel doesn’t seem to have a morose or melodramatic bone in its collective body. The band just seems to glide effortlessly through each of its songs, all typified by airy tunes that support breezy, positive lyrics. It’s a rather refreshing take on life and music at a time when most introspective bands sport a tendency to get weighed down by their emotions, sending their audiences down a never ending road of heartache and despair, which can really get overbearing after awhile.
Indie rock or indie pop are usually the classification that Gold Motel gets tossed into, as both are generally employed as catch all terms describing bands that don’t play a style that can be called straight pop/rock. Or at least they can’t be called that until they actually become part of the mainstream. Gold Motel hasn’t quite arrived there yet, nor does that really seem to be their intention. That said, there is a certain upbeat flair to their sound as well as their stage performance that would have some mass appeal to a general audience. Certainly has that effect on anyone listening to them, which was easy to see during their Jammin’ Java set.
There’s a reason for that. too. The style of music Gold Motel plays beneath is apparent indie pop label surface seems like an amalgam of jangle pop and twee pop viewed through the lens of ‘60s saccharine pop. It’s the kind of pop music that’s been big overseas and has translated well over here—except, it seems, when American bands perform it.
Of course, the air surrounding Gold Motel during a performance also has a positively retro ‘70s era disco vibe to it as well. This is ultimately the final ingredient in the blend that Gold Motel brings to table with each performance. In the final analysis, this is a band that’s defined by a combination of so many different pop influences their own isn’t necessarily easy to pin down. The reason? They aren’t appropriating the look and feel of the individual bands that have influenced them. Rather, their music is all about getting to the heart of entire movements instead. This gives the band a kind of sweeping, historical appeal that’s unique in today’s scene.
What’s kind of neat about Gold Motel is just how rounded the edges of the band feel. There really aren’t any rough parts to the band’s unique sound. Front woman Greta Morgan’s former band, the Hush Sound, was more of a piano drive pop act with a slight R&B flavor, possessing a sound that was piquantly seasoned with tasty bits of grit and grime. Yet despite the fact that the material for Gold Motel often echoes that of Morgan’s former band, the current band is a more polished affair.
By playing up the glossy sheen of pop from past generations, the band’s connection to that sound goes even further. The best bands of past eras were endlessly meticulous in their production, so that each song was as polished as it could be. Gold Motel brings that kind of smoothness and polish to their live set. There doesn’t seem to be a single chink in this band’s performance armor, as each and every song is just effortless and seamless as is this band’s positive take on life.
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