Despite heading towards the Northern Hemisphere winter blues, if you’re searching for your next summer soundtrack, look no further than Saint Motel’s ‘saintmotelevision’. The album acts as a journey through time, paying homage to past entertainment technology and exploring what we can expect in the years to come.
Retrospective of the 70s yet composed with a contemporary indie edge, ‘Move’ draws upon the funk of yesteryear, emphasised by that leading synth brass melody and discotheque dance floor clapping. As if paying direct homage to the disco era, the accompanying music video is a wonderful collision of eras in its conception: 70s inspired in its content, yet futuristic experimental in its 360 virtualisation, allowing the viewer to take control of the camera as if present on the nightclub dance floor featured in the video.
Ironically, though ‘Move’ is featured on the EA Games ‘FIFA 17’ soundtrack, it is ‘Getaway’ that is reminiscent of fast gameplay; its lyrics appropriate to the theme of escape coupled with the sharp-hitting piano chords and sultry instrumentation conjuring images of high-speed racing through tropical landscapes.
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‘You Can Be You’ inspires, affecting the listener’s sense of self; its melodic vocals and disrupted drumbeat reinforce the simplistic and important lyrical message. The song isn’t metaphorical: Saint Motel emphasise the age-old cliché come achievable ideal to follow your dreams and believe in your ambition.
‘For Elise’ is not the Beethoven classic its title alludes to, though it does pay brief homage to the classic with an altered piano ‘tribute’. The song follows an unusual structure, each section seemingly different to the last: the introduction is in a cappella form, supported by a heavenly choir; the beat of the first verse is reminiscent of a playground game – drums providing the backbone while clapping assists the bass. AJ Jackson’s vocals speed through verbose lyrics, staying in rhythm to formulate a sound reflective of a late night jazz band. In fact, as the song continues, 80s pop can be heard, reinforcing the track’s imminent popularity.
Similarly, as if drawing upon inspiration from the 1959 cult classic ‘Twilight Zone‘, ‘Slow Motion’ possesses similar otherworldly qualities in its mystical lexicon, piano synth, and descending harmonies and effects, which alternatively produce an 80s digital effect.
It is fitting that the album title reads as an amalgamation of the band’s name and the electronic image transmission device that changed pop culture dramatically over the decades. Each track inspirationally offers itself to the visual medium, with effects otherwise uncommon in music lending itself to gaming.
Though Saint Motel acknowledge predecessors of film, television, and music, ‘saintmotelevision’ is undoubtedly the contemporary pop album to best represent those with appreciation of the past but an undeniable uniqueness that is ubiquitous of youth today.