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Gold Motel speaks on album, artistic processes

Rachel Hunt

Issue date: 11/19/10 Section: Focus
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The album is highly polished and full of the energy Morgan was known to bring to her old outfit The Hush Sound, yet Summer House has distinct differences from her roots. "We listen to tons of stuff, from electronica, to pop, to country," Morgan revealed about Gold Motel. "We all, at the heart of it, love pop music. I think collectively as a band, we all decided that this album would reflect Southern California pop and rock 'n' roll. What I imagined with this record, is that friends will want to drive around together with their windows down."

There are countless songs on the record that seem to encapsulate that top-of-the-world feeling of youth in summertime. The vintage tinged videos for singles "Safe in L.A.," "Perfect in My Mind," and "We're On the Run" capture feelings that every listener would want to reference as timeless memories. The heavy nostalgia that the band's name suggests drenches the melodies and rhythms of the album's best tracks with nods to past musical legends.

"Specifically I remember when we were working on the song 'Safe in L.A.' Smokey Robinson was an artist we brought up that we used as kind of a reference point," said Gold Motel guitarist, Eric Hehr. "Another song on the album, called 'We're on the Run,' has certain production and things we did with texturizing in guitar parts where we were referencing Fleetwood Mac. We just recorded our seven-inch 'Talking Fiction,' where we definitely referenced some of Blondie's material a good amount. We're kind of going all over the grid because pop is such a vague word to describe music. I think we take a little bit of everything to achieve what we want to do."

"Somehow we've fooled people into thinking that the album was made in California," Morgan joked. "It's funny and totally ironic! We actually recorded in the dead of winter, at a house in the suburbs of Chicago, and our bass player Matt joked that we should call the album 'Winter Lodge' instead of 'Summer House'. It just kind of shows that you can write a sad song if you're not sad, you can write a happy song if you're not happy, or you can write a summer song in the dead of winter."

Blending together the popularity of pop, country-tinged female vocals, and that Californian lo-fi production, Gold Motel picks apart the sweet of many different bands today and blends it with successes of the past to create an all-around fantastic sound. It seems that Morgan and the band chose the perfect time to branch out.
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