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Arts and Entertainment

The Western States Motel @ The Echo 3/26

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My intuition is always right, except for when I was sure I would marry Kirk Cameron, but this time I’m predicting Los Angeles’s own The Western States Motel, as Indie Rock’s next darlings…or at least they should be. With beautiful harmonies, both mellow and upbeat songs, cool stage presence, and emo lyrics to boot, I don’t see how they aren’t on the cover of Filter already. They even have shaggy hair and a pretty CD cover.

My intuition of greatness was confirmed last night at their show at The Echo where the foursome (Carl Jordan, Mike Schanzlin, Mike Griffin, Shannon Mckinnon) performed songs off their new album. The Western States Motel’s melodies are both sweet and haunting at once. Like a strange mood ring, TWSM can bring any emotional state to a new level- driving around yesterday feeling down, with Grey skies, their disc brought me lower, especially the melodic “Southwest Planes”, but when I say lower, I mean it in the best Elliot Smith way possible. They’ve been labeled as “Sunshine Pop” which I dared to disagree with until at their show, with friends and an excited crowd, the music made me feel all…well, sunshiny. This album as a whole seems like it was meant to be played while driving long distances during summer months, so its lucky we live in LA, always have summery-like weather and are stuck on the freeway for hours, TWSM will get you through it and cut that road rage in at least half.

Comparing his songwriting process to “coming up with a cross-word puzzle from scratch” songwriter and lead singer Carl Jordan formed TWSM after realizing he had written about five or six songs, came up with a name, and found some talented musicians to play with live. Songs off the debut album have been playing on KCRW and Indie 103.1 and have been heard on Fox’s The OC. It can be found at Amoeba Music, Sea Level iTunes, and here.

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Photo provided by TWSM