We’ve been lauding these guys as one of our favorite new bands for what seems like forever, but yesterday, at long last, Los Angeles’ own Saint Motel released their debut LP, Voyeur. Singer A.J. Jackson and guitarist Aaron Sharp have come a long way since their days as film students at Chapman University and their previous EP, For Play.
Over the past year or so, the band has been rolling out tracks at a steady pace, offering them as free downloads. This has allowed for the quartet to build a mysterious momentum yet allowed for listeners to familiarize with the sunny indie pop that has come to define the group.
As we’ve highlighted many, many times, Saint Motel’s live show isn’t one to be missed. Whether it’s scaring fans with zombie proms to mocking that crazy dude in San Francisco’s proclamation of the end of the world, fans have never left a show disappointed. While the events have tapered off with their growing popularity, that doesn’t mean that good times aren’t to be had. At the Hudson block party in Los Angeles back in May, Jackson was as engaging as ever, joking with fans, while taking swigs from the bottle of Jack Daniel’s on stage.
It wasn’t always fun and games for the quartet. Like any other band, they had their shares of ups and downs before hitting their stride. Finding rhythmic lynchpins Dak Lerdamornpong and drummer Greg Ervin took some time, but in the end, they provide the foundation for Jackson and Sharp to showcase their talents.
After releasing For Play to much acclaim, the band took their time in honing the songs that comprised Voyeur. But that doesn’t mean that the lads weren’t busy in the interim. Without a full-length to their credit, they managed to score impressive spots on Los Angeles tastemaking radio stations KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic radio program and artist of the month on alt rock station 98.7, in addition to a spot DirectTV’s Guitar Center Presents and commercial for Guitar Center that not only featured the band’s super catchy “Puzzle Pieces,” but the guys as well. A lot of bands would kill to be in the position where they were noticed on a large-scale level like Saint Motel has.W
What’s at the heart is that they write fun, creative and energetic songs. For all of their antics, there’s some solid music to back up what they do. Saint Motel is spreading their brand of music outside of Southern California and after the release of their debut LP, perhaps everyone else will be hip to what people in the band’s hometown already known: these guys are band to reckoned with. Catchy hooks and lo-fi guitars can only take you so far, but the quartet has managed to turn it into indie gold, now it’s time for the rest of the world to hear what we’ve been saying for a long time: Saint Motel kicks some serious ass and is one of the best new bands out there.