words by Eric Engelbart
I first encountered Chicago’s Gold Motel opening for legendary nerd-rock band They Might Be Giants last October at the Pabst Theater. Gold Motel has an infectiously cheerful sound, highlighted by singer Greta Morgan’s sunny and instantly endearing vocal delivery and stage presence. You might remember Morgan from pop-punk band The Hush Sound, a band that she started when she was in 7th grade, who toured with the likes of All American Rejects and Panic! at the disco.
Now twenty-four years old, Morgan continues to hone her songwriting skills with Gold Motel, a notable departure from The Hush Sounds’ pop-punk appeal. The band evokes Blondie, as well as recent indie favorites, Voxtrot.
Gold Motel’s debut album Summer House served as the perfect soundtrack for a day on the beach, highlighted by catchy singles “Summer House” and “Safe in L.A.” and the band recently released a teaser single from their upcoming sophomore album in August — “Leave You in Love” has a lot of promise. The track showcases Morgan’s continued development as a songwriter and lyricist. Notably, it has literary and nostalgic lyrics that are some of the strongest in the band’s catalog.
The song commences with Morgan recalling the everlasting nostalgia of adolescence. “Dollhouse rooms with marble stairs/ you tattooed me with the pen in your hair/ You can rest assured the ink is still there.” Her style is evolving, but she has stayed true to her roots.
The most memorable line of the song is from the bridge. Morgan sings: “We didn’t move on/ we just moved away.” Although she’s growing and maturing as a songwriter, Morgan’s ability to capture a carefree summer’s day in a song is still intact, and Gold Motel’s new album will see the band spreading good vibes to a growing, more discerning audience.
In anticipation of the new release, the band is currently offering fans a chance to submit potential album covers via their Instagram and Twitter accounts. They’re asking for submissions of photos that remind you of Gold Motel, to be released before April 15th, with the lucky winners being included in the album’s artwork. More information here.