Saint Motel has become known for pushing the boundaries of the album experience. Their newest EP The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Pt. 1 is no different. Though technically only the first part of their next, larger product, it does manage to stand on its own. Needless to say, the overall impression of the EP is cinematic and manages to set you in a different times and on a journey. From the slow path of “Old Soul” to the trouble of “Save Me,” the EP begins a cinematic narrative that is ultimately left unfinished.
With only five tracks, Saint Motel manages to pack in a huge array of styles and emotions. The songs are all silky smooth, yet none sound repetitive when stacked against any of the other tracks. They are comfortable and familiar, but they never feel so similar that you think you’ve heard the song before. “Old Soul” sounds like a traditional pop song from a bygone time with its slow tempo. Its retro style is easy to listen to and draws any listener into the EP. “Sisters is perhaps the most playful track on the EP. It still has a retro feel to it, but the track’s vibe is closer to the doo-wop sound of the 50s or 60s than the traditional pop song of “Old Soul.” “Sisters” along with “Van Horn” are Saint Motel at their best. The lyrics are catchy and the instrumentation feel light as it blends different styles together. “Diane Mozart” relies on its ballerina-like piano scales. Finally, “Save Me” ends the EP on a melancholic note that seems to be a set up for the next part of the project.
One of the accomplishments of The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Pt. 1 is that it puts the listener in a different time. The sounds are retro. But instead of feeling tired or played out, the songs still feel fresh and new. There is a sense of familiarity throughout the songs as they move somewhere new. The EP manages to take the styles of music from the 50s and 60s, combine them with ballerina-like piano parts or large horn sounds, and give it all a modern twist. The result is a thoroughly original take and a refreshing listen.
Overall, The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Pt. 1 is a quick listen. It’s incredibly diverse in each track’s sound. Despite this, it still sounds comfortable and familiar. Part of the comfort comes from the familiar vocals of Saint Motel that tie the past to present indie sounds. The largest knock on the EP is that it is clear that the narrative is to be continued and it leaves you waiting for a part two or even a part three to hear a full resolution.