Just in time for the peak of summer, Gold Motel returns to wisk us away to Western shores. The Los Angeles-via-Chicago band began as the solo project of Greta Morgan (also of The Hush Sound), but has quickly blossomed into a complete crew behind Eric Hehr’s rattling guitar, Dan Dusynski’s energetic rhythms, Matt Minx’s thumping bass, and Adam Coldhouse’s sure beat.
Usually, a sophomore album has to demonstrate a certain level of maturity, showcasing how the band has improved while retaining the elements that were appealing on the first album. In that sense, Gold Motel has succeeded masterfully, with breezier melodies, crisper tones, and even more evocative lyricism on Gold Motel, their follow up to 2010′s Summer House.
Perfecting many of these songs that have existed in various forms for some time at live shows, it was especially rewarding to finally her them properly recorded. “Brand New Kind of Blue” picks up the tune, as though the band hasn’t stopped playing in the backyard since last Independence Day. The sultry “Slow Emergency” seems to set time to a crawl, while “Cold Shoulders” sends it spinning. “Musicians” takes a cue from California classics like Mamas & The Papas, and highlights the carefree approach the band runs on.
Show favorites, the dancey “Cold Shoulders” and “Your Own Ghost,” link the center of the album, while a song that was already a long-time favorite — the penultimate “Santa Cruz” — captures the feeling of manifest destiny contained in California that can seem like a distant illusion, slipping away along the shores before making a quick exit with “Leave You In Love.”
More than the definitive summer album, Gold Motel is poised to become the definitive summer band. The entire album is streaming free on Rdio and is available for purchase directly from the band, where you can even get the album bundled with a guitar amp built by Greta herself.