‘Shame’ by Migrant Motel

A sparkling synth melody adorns the bars of “Shame,” the new single from Migrant Motel, but its gilded introduction doesn’t hold a candle to the musical magic that it will soon unleash in this fourth release from the much-buzzed project. There has been a lot of discussion about the diverse array of influences this band can incorporate into their sound since first arriving in the spotlight back in 2017, and we get the eclectic feel that they were going for in “Shame.”

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/migrantmotel/?hl=en

This single is difficult to categorize, as it employs influences from classical A/C, synthpop, alternative rock, and electronic club music, but there’s never a moment where the material sounds like the product of a halfhearted hybrid (the likes of which have inexplicably become popular in the last year as the pandemic came to an end). Migrant Motel offers up an experimental dance piece outfitted with as many sonic frills as it is poetic chills in this hot new single, but casual pop fans needn’t feel intimidated by its highbrow stylization – in all honesty, “Shame” is probably one of the easier listens I’ve heard this December. 

This mix is the work of a true professional. Every element of the song is afforded a fair share of the spotlight here, and though the bassline isn’t as prominent a physical force as the percussion is, their cadence defines the underlying grooves in the background better than anything else could have. The synths are bright and shiny, but they never devolve into predictable bubblegum territory because of their beefy, heavily scooped equalization.

Even non-audiophiles will have a hard time ignoring all of the subtle detail that was applied to this mix, and I think that you could make the argument for it being as much of an agent of evocation as any of the actual instrumentation is. “Shame” was crafted with a lot of love and attention to intricacies that most artists simply don’t consider when developing a single, and if that isn’t reason enough to check out this most recent release from Migrant Motel, then I don’t know what would be. It might not fit in with the minimalist sound that certain facets of the underground have been embracing this season, but it doesn’t have to – this song has its own brand of charisma going for it. 

If “Shame” and the whole of what this band has been able to do thus far are a good representation of what we can expect to hear out of Migrant Motel in the future, I’ll be very excited to see what they come up with in the studio next. I’ve been listening to this song a lot in the last week, and in that time I’ve come to appreciate just how open-ended this project could become for the two talented players associated with it.

SMART URL: https://fanlink.to/MigrantMotelShame

With no specific target audience in mind, there’s no limit to what this pop syndicate could pull off in the right setting, and as long as they continue to boast a free-spirited attitude and liberal approach to songwriting – as they do so excellently in “Shame” – this should be considered a top tier indie follow for both serious listeners and novice, unfamiliar fans alike. 

Gwen Waggoner