Don’t let their geographically, socio-economically specific moniker deceive you. Paris Motel is actually the labour pains product of principally one woman, Miss Amy May, and a fluctuating flock of talented musicians that alternate between an intimate string quartet and a 50-piece orchestra, depending on where the wind takes them. Their debut album, In the Salpêtriére, is a glistening bouquet offering of inspirational and imaginative, ripe chamber pop.
The windswept oboe entry within introductory track ‘Entrez dans la Salpêtriére’ carries May’s ghostly chant as she serves as a type of spirited narrator on this ethereal storybook adventure. May’s whispery timbre interweaves above and within lush orchestral tides, and this particular presentation demonstrates the maturity of symphonic, instrumental ability as well as creative, wide-eyed wonderment. Tales of travel and moments of awe-inspiring contemplation are swept by momentous orchestral gestures, and the contribution is accomplished in the most warmly accessible way. In result, Paris Motel embody this otherworldly quality, as accomplished in the birdcall background vocals and twinkling percussiveness of ‘City of Ladies’, or the tender yet theatrical textures of air-stream scales in ‘Baby Diamond’, while simultaneously maintaining a pop ease of access. The rhythm of the album’s construction features a careful balance of vigorous, colourful instrumental builds and break-downs, with a precise alternation of creative lyrical flights as in ‘Catherine By the Sea’ or simple love songs like ‘After Wanda’.
In the Salpêtriére offers an alternative to the throwaway submissions of music industry modernity, which often proposes merely noise pollutants of immediate but superficial pleasures of everyday trends meant to stream through one ear and disappear out the other. Paris Motel bring back the lavish instrumentation of stage production with pervasive cinematic qualities and celebrated showmanship you can instantly recognize and easily surrender to.
8RJ Rodriguez-Lewis's Score