“Sunset Doubt” by Hotel Manlet is the experimental indie rock song of your dreams. With its many non-harmonic textures and reverb-y, spacey vocal editing, it feels like more of a soundscape than a traditional song (although, functionally, it satisfies a beautiful musical arc). For all of the Alex G lovers, Hotel Manlet raises you a wash of ethereal vocal harmonies and a unique lyrical perspective.
“It’s the kind of room that attracts a certain sort / Milky light on the damned / Wet red faces,” the singer utters conversationally. This line is bursting at the seams with imagery, reading like a well-researched poem but fitting into the music perfectly. Twinkly synths blink in the background, setting a foundation for the tonal center. We listen as extraneous motifs come and go, thickening the perceived experimental value of the song. Guitar strums suddenly rush in, creating a more tangible harmonic structure and rhythmic integrity. The melodies get pleasantly catchy here, juxtaposing the soft, amorphous nature of the verse. When the fullness of this section finally fades, we return to this sparse intimacy. The rest of the song follows a similar ebb ad flow, giving it an ultimately gratifying shape.
If any of this sounds like it might be up your alley, give this song a listen! You’ll be blessed with many delightful surprises. Hotel Manlet just oozes creativity, and “Sunset Doubt” is the manifestation of that. You simply won’t hear anything like it. Plus, the songwriting itself could stand alone as a brilliant work of art.
Written by Alyce Lindberg
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