The Hotelier – Goodness

After The Hotelier blew me away with their 2015 release; Home, Like Noplace Is There, I was eagerly awaiting their follow up album, Goodness. In the time that lapsed between albums I got into The Hotelier’s back catalogue, saw them live twice and got a limited edition hand lathed copy of their Goodness Pt. 1 EP. To that point everything was looking overwhelmingly positive for the band, they seemed to be improving with each release and I was excited to hear their next progression.

Now the dust has settled and I have come back on 3 or 4 occasions for further listening, I can safely say; I don’t get it. It is clear from the album cover that the band is trying to make a statement, a group of elderly nudists in the middle of a forest, is it a comment on the state of society and the need to get back to our roots? I honestly have no idea.

The first song title is a bunch of coordinates, “N 43° 59′ 38.927″ W 71°23′ 45.27”” to be precise. I’m not sure what this leads to or if it complete nonsense, but I guess it fits with the cover. This song is a poem, overly similar to La Dispute’s Here, Hear releases, it’s writen in the same style and read in the same voice. I like these poems so I’m willing to go along with it and see what the album holds in store, but it feels uncomfortable to have so closely mimicked La Disputes unique style.

Moving into the second song we get to “Goodness, Pt. 2”, again I don’t really know what is going on here, this song has it moments of sounding like previous Hotelier but also periods of being excessively boring and meaningless. The last 20 seconds consist of one drum beat every 5 seconds and it is enough to make me want to pull my hair out. There is a deliberate lead into the following song, Piano Player which I typically like, but this one is just messy. Piano Player continues on the overly boring and meaningless music with the vocals fading in and out of focus and for some reason being muffled. This song ends in a similarly frustrating fashion with the word “sustain” being repeated incessently for the last 3 minutes.

Moving along we get into the second song with coordinates for a title, this time it is less cute and more frustrating that you can’t tell the songs apart. No nice poem this time either, some poor guitar playing matched with some cult-sounding campfire singing in the background. The coordinates make another appearance 4 songs later with similar music and this time it is paired with a nursery rhyme.

We get back into the single word repetitiveness with the song “Sun” where as the title suggests, the word “sun” is repeated in incredibly frustrating way for much of the unnessecarily long song (6 minutes).

The only moment of enjoyable listening on this album is the song “Two Deliverances” and even in that song I can’t help but feel like I have heard it somewhere before. I have been trying to work out if The Hotelier have crafted something amazing here that feels so familier, or whether they have stolen someone’s song directly. If anyone recognises what this song sounds like, please let me know.

This album has a real sense of being profound for the sake of being profound. I just don’t believe it. I’m not sure if maybe the band hit a wall after their last album, or if this is just their musical progression, but I wouldn’t typically see that taking the passion out of your songs and repeating single words over and over is progression. This is a very disappointing and particularly frustrating album from one of my favourite bands of 2015. I’m still not sure if I just don’t get it, or if there is nothing to “get”.


Matt Power
21 January 2017

Full Disclosure

Feeling Tired
Drinking Coffee
Recent Listening The Riot Before
How I Listened Car

The Hotelier Home, Like No Place Is There

Artist The Hotelier
Album Goodness
Released 27 May 2016
Label Tiny Engines
Tracks 13
Run Time 47 minutes
Genre Pop Punk?

The Hotelier Home, Like No Place Is There