Inspired by hip-hop, indie-rock and house music, New Zealand-based Reuben Keeling (vocals and bass), Bruce Ferguson (vocals and guitar)and Ben Stanley (synths, beats and production) formed the synth-based group Motel Midnight. While relatively new on the music scene, the trio is already gaining recognition on a national and international featured on The Other Side Reviews, Talk About Pop Music, The Groove Cartel and FV Music Blog – to name but a few. Adding their refreshing sound to the pop scene, Motel Midnight makes their debut with the single ‘Closer’.
Combining the beats of Calvin Harris and Depeche Mode with the vocals of Duran Duran, ‘Closer’ is a melodic, flowing swirl of sound. What I always enjoy about New Wave and synth-pop groups is the hazy ambience created by the track, and Motel Midnight is no different. Slipping into a whirling soundscape, the New Zealand trio wrap their arms around you and carry you off into a surrealistic comfort zone.
Haunting and slightly melancholic, Motel Midnight touches on issues of extremism, nationalism and confusion in our current sociopolitical climate. Yet, while the concept behind ‘Closer’ is serious, it takes form in a desperate and slightly kinky love song of sorts.
Desperation, pain and poignancy are evident in the moving vocals. It might not be good to mention a sensuality when taking in the underlying theme to ‘Closer’, but there is no doubt in my mind that Motel Midnight oozes sensuality with the impassioned tones. Hypnotic and haunting, the trio elegantly breaks into the business with sexy elegance.