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 raw energy and rousing rhythms, Saint Motel’s aural catharsis is pure bliss with a twist of cynical humor. According to A/J Jackson, singer and creative force behind Saint Motel, the band recently has expanded its repertoire to include “new elements that I would describe as tropical, Latin, big band, retro, that I don’t think would have applied to our earlier music.”
This is the way of Saint Motel, not to be held down by stagnancies, but to continue a natural progression. Once the listener is pulled in by the pulsating and joyous melodies, delight can be found in the surprisingly avant-garde lyrical subject matter. Voyeur is lush with stories that reveal themselves through thematic twists and turns with a narrative voice both subversive and sincere. With themes ranging from the lure of plastic surgery, to the dangers of honest feedback, to the taboo bonds of friendship within the Heaven’s Gate cult, we end up with tongue-in-cheek notions strung together by honest motifs, delivered with charm, often leaving the song’s meanings open to interpretation. Jackson admits “while all the songs are based on what many would call ‘absurd’ subject matter, many of the songs have various levels of subtext that I hope the listener will decipher with repeated listens. “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.