Hotel Lights' Firecracker People | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Hotel Lights' Firecracker People 

(Bar/None)

⇒ Read also: "Former Ben Folds Five drummer Darren Jessee, in New York, on North Carolina"

click to enlarge 10.29muslead_side1_hotellig.gif

Understatement defines the aesthetic of the second Hotel Lights album, Firecracker People. From Darren Jessee's whispered croon—delivered as if he's singing only to himself—to his backing band's delicate, smooth arrangements—given a country tinge by drummer Zeke Hutchins and bassist Jay Brown—the record takes its contemplative time. Firecracker People sounds like sitting barefoot and still, sipping tea, reflecting on little things gone by.

Jessee's hushed voice, stifled as if by Southern humidity, adds narrative clarity to his image-rich thoughts. His attention to lyrical detail seeps into the album's every pore, expertly letting the listener in on his intent: During "Wedding Day," for instance, he whispers to a rainy day and a lost love, "I'm sitting here/ With my coffee cup/ You're waking up/ On your wedding day." His mundane inaction turns to romantic torture beneath a gently strummed acoustic and vapor-light keybords. On "Amelia Bright," a leftover from the last Ben Folds Five tour, he sings softly of a "red '50s dress from a thrift shop nearby."

"Flicker in My Eye" smolders in nostalgia. Among the song's gentle chords, its syncopated drum machine feels slightly out of place, but it matches Jessee's outcast mood: "These arms that once held you/ Like a sunset in the sea." Shimmering cymbal rides finally float through the chorus.

Firecracker People descends through "Run Away Happy." Over its deliberately plucked acoustic guitar, it's as if the North Carolina expatriate offers his goodbye. But it's a fond farewell. Indeed, much like its namesake, Hotel Lights offers soft-spoken, often unassuming company that shines its gentle welcome, as friendly and calm as a front-porch thinker, willing to share a moment, but also keeping its eye on the clock.

  • Firecracker People sounds like sitting barefoot and still, sipping tea, reflecting on little things gone by.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Love it! All the songs are beautiful!

by Jon Champion on Record Review: The Return of The Veldt, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation, Is Great (Record Review)

This release will be available Friday December 4th here:

http://gnoer.bandcamp.com/

Thanks! …

by Scott Phillips on Review: The electronic excellence of GNØER's Tethers Down (Record Review)

You should have let Currin write this. One of the best singers on earth and these were your observations? sounds …

by Remo on Record review: Jeanne Jolly's A Place to Run (Record Review)

Comments

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation