Discography Deep Focus - Saint Motel

Story posted October 11, 2022 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Cassie Baylis

Saint Motel has created some of the greatest alternative/indie songs in the genre. Based out of Los Angeles, California, the band consists of lead singer and pianist A/J Jackson, Aaron Sharp as lead guitar, Dak Lerdamornpong on bass guitar and Greg Erwin on the drums.

With their wide range in musical talent, the band experiments with all kinds of instrumental backgrounds throughout their discography. The instruments are not the only part of their music that makes it a unique addition to any playlist, their lyrics are filled with vivid stories. No listener will ever feel like one of Saint Motel’s songs sounds like another.

“ForPlay” (2009)

Saint Motel’s first album starts their career out beautifully. With a focus on mellow instruments, these songs are a great baseline for what the band will soon become.

Standing out more than the others, “Butch,” a song on this premier album, embodies how Saint Motel’s music will be for the next few years. The guitar used in the instrumentals and the storyline told through the lyrics, introduce the vibe of albums to follow.

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “Do Everything Now,” “Butch”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Eat Your Heart Out”

“Voyeur” (2012)

This album introduces more upbeat tunes to the band’s discography. Guaranteed ‘no-skips’ album, as each song is uniquely intriguing. Songs like “Puzzle Pieces” and “Feed Me Now” feature remarkable melodies that have listeners addicted and singing along after the first times they’re played. There is no existing album like “Voyeur.”

While Saint Motel’s lyrics are one of a kind, they also hold a lot of deep meaning and emotion. For instance, “At Least I Have Nothing,” another song featured on the album contains impactful songwriting. Lyrics, “At least I have nothing/Nothing to tie me down/Not even someone/I've got no more family in this town,” might leave listeners feeling heard for once.

“Voyeur” could be stated as the album where Saint Motel found their unsurpassed sound.

Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “Puzzle Pieces,” “Feed Me Now,” “Benny Goodman”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: N/A

“My Type” (2014)

One ‘no-skip’ album after another, “My Type” created a presence for Saint Motel into mainstream music. All four songs on this album are simple and overall well-done, producing upbeat tones to dance to.

The first single and title track, “My Type,” could be said to have introduced Saint Motel to a larger audience, as it is the band’s most-streamed song on Spotify. Who could blame fans of music for swarming to this bright, trumpet-filled song?

Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “Cold Cold Man”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: N/A

“saintmoteltelevision” (2016)

The band’s partial namesake, “saintmoteltelevision” contains a diverse grouping of songs. Both cheerful and emotional songs are featured on this album without clashing. “Move” differs greatly from “Happy Accidents” on the album, yet the two compliment each other well.

Furthermore, “For Elise,” another track on this album, is comprised of a piano part in the middle, with an otherwise cheery tune accompanying in the beginning and end. This song represents the overall vibe of Saint Motel’s fourth album.

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “Move,” “Slow Motion,” “Sweet Talk”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “You Can Be You”

“The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” (2021)

The album was released in three parts, each one surrounding a film-type theme. Music videos made in correlation with the songs portray the various storylines perfectly.

While Saint Motel’s most recent album is partially reminiscent of their previous sound, it begins to move towards the pop genre. Most likely due to their presence in mainstream music as “My Type” grew in popularity. Fans are left missing their unique aesthetic to Saint Motel’s music, but can only appreciate their movement onto bigger and better opportunities.

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “Van Horn,” “Old Soul,” “Save Me”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Songs: “Slow Dance”

Saint Motel has perfected their individual sound separate from the rest of indie genre bands, and it is exhibited skillfully in their discography thus far.

Cassie Baylis is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email ceb6085@psu.edu.