“Shame” From the Acclaimed Migrant Motel
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“Shame” From the Acclaimed Migrant Motel

It isn’t often that a synthesizer dishes out the sort of endearing melodicism that we normally associate almost exclusively with string instruments in western pop music, but that’s exactly what audiences can expect to discover in the charming “Shame,” from the acclaimed Migrant Motel. Through their boisterous and evocative harmonization with the lead vocal, we get a mood to match the story that the lyrics are telling us, with the result bringing artist and listener closer together than most pop music would. “Shame” is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise dismal and depressing winter for indie pop in the North American underground, and while it’s a sterling single by any critical measurement, it’s not the only gem to behold in this band’s body of work.

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/migrantmotel/?hl=en

As strong as the instrumental grooves are in this track, I think of “Shame” as being a major vocal showcase for Migrant Motel’s present discography. Everything is built on the foundation of the lyrical structure; the arrangement of the percussion draws us into the surreal verses while the bassline holds us in a consistent rhythm, making it sound as though the synthesizers and the vocal are moving at two completely different tempos. The conflict only adds to the swaggering energy of the chorus, and by the time we hit the halfway point in the song, every component is working in such synchronicity that it feels like the track is a solid, singular entity rather than multiple parts carefully layered on top of one another.

One thing that struck me as curious in my initial listening session with “Shame” was the bassline’s somewhat muted contribution to the backend of this single. Unlike the majority of winter tracks that have been ascending the Billboard charts this December, this song doesn’t sport the sort of grandiose, bloated bass elements that shake your floorboard even when played at moderate volumes. “Shame” is conservative on this front; where some would have introduced a lot of excess on the low end (particularly in a song that has as much crossover appeal with electronica buffs as this one does), Migrant Motel lays out a slinky vocal harmony that ties everything together neatly and without any unneeded fluff.

SMART URL: https://fanlink.to/MigrantMotelShame

Club fiends and pop music aficionados alike should make a point to check out what Migrant Motel has cooked up for fans in “Shame,” as it’s been sparking some legitimate accolades this season. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I came into this review, but I certainly didn’t anticipate hearing the cerebral textures and postmodern harmonies that make up this track’s inner core. The two masterminds behind this project hit it out of the park in their fourth single together, and with any luck, it won’t be too long before they reconvene in the studio for a complete LP of this music. There’s still time for this sound to come into its own a little more than it already is before 2023 rolls around, and I for one am excited to hear the next batch of experimental results sooner than later.

Troy Johnstone

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