“We sit and we talk, not of much but of little. I see the moon, the moon sees me. I would smile but it would be meaningless. I wouldn’t want it to be. But in the landscape of tilted heads, while the sky sheds skin on my body, I feel my voice quiet to a halt, and this is where I am.” You sit beneath a tree’s canopy in a meadow, surrounded by smiling, naked individuals. The sun rises and casts its warmth through the leaves, a band plays, and everyone dances . . .
With only three measly paragraphs, I fear I shan’t have ample space to adequately convey how I feel about this record. I’ve failed until now to locate a collection of songs that bridge the gap between my past and present tastes, and do so in such a graceful way. Goodness is the newest full-length from Massachusetts trio The Hotelier, a band that pours raw feeling into their sounds until they’re on the brink of overflowing.
These songs toe the threshold of emo rock, but they sculpt the emotive elements into refined compositions that resemble progressive anthems. This music invokes something from deep within the listener, like gospel honoring life itself rather than any otherworldly deity. Shout-out-loud choruses, communal harmonies, rollicking drums, and scorching guitar riffs are all included, with a sense of warmth pervading throughout.
Opening with a spoken-word recitation of the lullaby “I See the Moon” and sprinkled with brief interludes of the same piece cast as campfire sing-alongs, Goodness is emblematic of its title and perfectly NSFW cover art; it’s a record that claws through the hurt and preconceptions in order to stare at the inherent beauty of existence, stripped away of everything nonessential. If you’re seeking emotive, anthemic rock, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)