Motel Sundown talk ‘Light of My Life’, Influences, Covid-19 and More


We first featured Motel Sundown on the site at the start of this year with the release of their single ‘Chicago’. After following this up with the releases  of ‘Something Always’ and ‘Light of my Life’ just last weekend, it led me to state that the trio are my find of 2020! I caught up with Naomi, Rob and Karen to find out more!

Hi guys, I want to start by asking how Motel Sundown came into being, and where did the name come from?

We had all been performing in Liverpool separately over the years and came together through mutual friends, eventually we ended up playing a regular weekly gig together. We then started writing together and formed the band in 2018. We first started working on songs we had written separately and were pleasantly surprised to find our voices and musical styles fit quite well together.

The name took quite a bit of brainstorming and throwing ideas around but we think it suits our sound quite well – it doesn’t really have a significant meaning!

You’ve just released your fantastic new single ‘Light of My Life’. Can you give us an insight into how the song came about?

The song was written about losing a close family member but like all songs it can mean something different to everyone that listens to it. Hopefully due to the sentimental intent it can also act as some form of comfort in these current strange times. 

For the production of the song we wanted to capture that special vintage sound you can hear in Country ballads from the 60’s. Thankfully our producer Anders Johnsen knew exactly what we were looking for and helped us build up the harmonies to create the Elvis-esque crescendo you can hear in the track. 

If you had to describe your sound to someone who hasn’t listened in before, how would you describe it?

We would describe our sound as being a mixture of Country and Folk-Rock; Fleetwood Mac meets Dolly Parton meets Neil Young.

The 3 of us write in different styles, and when we write together the end result can be very different from one song to the next. Which we really enjoy!

The main thing we like to focus on is the three part harmonies which is the magic for all of us when we perform live.

It’s obviously a strange time right now, and I guess it provides particular challenges for a band? How are you coping with this new normal?

Of course it is difficult for us as we are all living separately so we aren’t able to practise or meet up to celebrate our release together. Luckily we live in a time where we can have online meetings and we are still finding inspiration to write new material which we can easily share with each other online and then work on in our own set ups at home. 

If each of you had to name an influence, who would be the first name on your lips?

Naomi: I’ve said Dolly Parton previously but the more I work with Karen and Rob and combine our writing together I would be more inclined to say Emmylou Harris. Just to cheat and add an extra modern influence it would be First Aid Kit!

Rob: I’m not really sure I like lots of things but I don’t really aspire to sound like them mainly because I can’t. I like John Martyn’s approach to music making.

Karen: There are many for me but I would say Dolly Parton has always been a major influence when it comes to writing. A contemporary one would be Brandi Carlile who I have followed for years.

To finish, tell us about your upcoming plans and where can readers find you on social media?

We are just adding the finishing touches to our next release which will be our third single. We are hoping to have it ready in the summer! In the meantime we are working on demos and figuring out a plan for an album in the near future which we can get stuck in to when things get back to normal.

You can find us on:

Instagram: motelsundownband

Facebook: Motel Sundown

Twitter: MotelSundown

You can listen to all of our releases on Spotify, Amazon and iTunes.

You can also download our music via Bandcamp and watch our cover of Jolene by Dolly Parton on YouTube here.

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