Saturday, August 26, 2017

Saint Motel | Lefsetz Letter

Saint Motel – Spotify

I’ve got this friend in Nashville, he sends me all the new country tracks.

And the old ones too.

He’s the guy who turned me on to Keith Urban’s “Stupid Boy” and Luke Bryan’s “Drink A Beer.” I trust him implicitly, he’s my go-to resource.

And he just sent me a bunch of tracks. The most intriguing were by this unsigned guy Mike Ryan, I heard it immediately, especially “New Hometown.”

And he confirmed my love of Luke Combs’s “Hurricane,” told me the man was blowing up, was becoming a juggernaut, so I downloaded Luke’s whole album, synched it to my phone.

And I was intrigued by Ashley McBryde, who just might break out.

And I was excited that an act like Greensky Bluegrass could sell so many tickets, made me hopeful that listenership was widening, that other genres besides hip-hop and pop were gaining traction.

And then I stumble on to Saint Motel.

It was nearly midnight. I’d listened to sixteen country tracks all the way through, giving them a good shot, none were bad, I understood them all, but none gave me the same twinge as I got with Saint Motel.

Which is not a country act.

Yes, this gentleman appended a bunch of pop/alternative/mainstream acts at the end of his list, and it was Saint Motel that blew my mind.

I’ve got to admit, the previously heard “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man is a phenomenon, a well-deserved left field hit. And the Old 97’s/Brandi Carlile “Good With God” was my favorite track by the band in eons. And the Ryan Adams number “To Be Without You” is almost a complete return to form, just needs another change, an improved chorus to bring him back, and we agree that “When The Tequila Runs Out” is the best cut on the last Dawes album.

But Saint Motel was UNDENIABLE! A one listen smash. Which got your feet moving. A cross between what once was and now is that is exquisite.

Yes, imagine blending the new wave of the 80’s with the modern movement of dance, without sacrificing any credibility whatsoever.

Yes, remember the excitement of the English bands on MTV, who wiped the slate clean of corporate rock and vapid disco and infatuated all of us?

Saint Motel is just like that, without sounding dated whatsoever, it puts a smile on your face, makes you a believer once again.


You’re implored to do this, not long after the advent of the song.

And then the fanfare of the (fake?) brass grabs you in the private parts.

This man, this dutiful man has got this sense of devotion
One look, one touch of a hand can set the spiral in motion

And it’s the attitude, the vocalization that hooks you, kinda disinterested yet omniscient, the viewpoint of acts too cool for school who were not interested about techie titans, certainly not bankers, because they knew they had much more influence and fun than either of them.

And then we come to the chorus!

Gotta get up, I gotta get up

You jump up, start dancing around, even if there’s no one else there, even if you never dance in public, the song gets inside you just that fast.

And then the playlist slid into “My Type,” somewhat similar, yet different, but every bit as infectious.

Take a look around the room
Love comes wearing disguises
How to go about and choose
Break it down by shapes and sizes
I’m a man who’s got very specific taste

It’s almost otherworldly. Not a diss track, just about life, the one we’re all living, it resembles nothing so much as an ABC cut.

You-you-you’re just my type

“My Type” is just the kind of track you play to psyche you up, for an athletic event, to get up and ask that person for a date.

The third cut, “Getaway,” was of the similar oeuvre, but different. Had an element of Depeche Mode, the early stuff, like “Just Can’t Get Enough,” but an imploring vocal that gets your head threading through the air…


And they are guys. And they’re not from the old country, but Los Angeles.

And these tracks are not new.

“Move” is from 2016.

“My Type” is from 2014!

And “Getaway” is from 2016 too.

Now it’s not like Saint Motel is completely unknown. “My Type” has 75,287,192 streams on Spotify, “Move” has over 16 million and “Getaway” nearly 2 million.

Hell, “My Type” even made it to #5 on AAA, showing how important and impactful that format is, as in NOT!

How does such great stuff go unrecognized?

They were on Parlophone which was in limbo and is now part of Elektra, so maybe they got lost in the shuffle, maybe the label didn’t do its part, WHO KNOWS?

That’s the modern era. WHO KNOWS?

There is great stuff in the marketplace, but you’re not aware of it. Until someone tells you, and then you find out you’re not the only person in the club.

We need a better system than this, because these three Saint Motel songs are one listen gets, THEY’RE SMASHES!


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