SAINT MOTEL and EMPIRES
Saint Motel "At Least I Have Nothing" video via NME: The LA rockers go introspective on this new video which collects together 16mm film, video and cell phone shots to create a trip down memory lane. It's been directed by band founder AJ Jackson.
With sophisticated savvy and singularity, the Los Angeles quartet Saint Motel has built a formidable reputation on the back of inventive indie pop and wildly fun live shows. Mixing blistering pep with unique flair and rousing rhythms, Saint Motel's aural catharsis is pure bliss with a twist of cynical humor. Once pulled in by the pulsating and joyous melodies, delight can be found in the surprisingly avant-garde lyrical subject matter.
Stories reveal themselves through thematic twists and turns with a narrative voice both subversive and sincere. We find our contemporary hero assessing the world through a lens of poetic contrasts -- running down the line of his modern concerns and realizing that a mangled face can be beautiful, that honest feedback can be as lethal as any weapon, and that one might be better off when he has nothing at all. With such honest motifs strung together by tongue-in-cheek notions, delivered with such charm, the band's intentions are often left open to interpretation. And so, what might be easily perceived as sexy with one listen, with another might seem mean-spirited or flatly perverse. That is the flair of Saint Motel's rapturous pop and the graceful dichotomy of its existence.
Empires recently finished recording their second full length album, Garage Hymns. The band’s self-produced debut album, Howl, garnered a massive amount of attention when they released it on their website back in 2008, and now, with Garage Hymns, Empires feels that they have found the sound they’ve been searching for all along. It’s been a rapid ascent to critical acclaim for the young Empires, who came together in 2006. The band finished Howl in guitarist and producer Max Steger’s studio in March, and their “all over the place” approach had obviously worked out for them: the album garnered thousands of downloads online, including over 15,000 in its first week alone.
Howl was named one of the top five local albums of 2008 by Metromix Chicago, and Empires spent the rest of 2008 and much of 2009 building a profile locally. They sold out several of Chicago most popular music venues, including Schubas, the Beat Kitchen, and the Subterranean. Then, late in 2009, they went back into Max’s studio to record again, and in 2010 they released a seven-song EP called BANG. The BANG EP, a raucous makeout music video for the title track, and their first SXSW appearance ushered in some good national attention. Empires quietly began demoing the songs that would later become Garage Hymns in the summer of 2010. “Garage Hymns was figured out mainly in the practice space,” explains Max. “I wanted the recordings to sound more like the band in practice, and I wanted to avoid any slick over-the-top production. We wanted to be as gritty and raw as possible.”
Still Pacific is a rock band from Minneapolis that loves dark poppy hooks. Their melodies and big sounds will bring you back to the late 80’s and early 90’s. Their influences are The Beach Boys, The Wedding Present, Joy Division and 60’s girl groups. They have been playing out for the past year opening for Red Pens, Pink Mink, Birthday Suits, Gringo Star, The Hounds Below (Von Bondies) and many more.