The Hotelier’s (pronounced The Hotel Year) sophomore LP “Home, Like No Place is There” is
a phenomenal piece of art packed full of well-thought out song structures and solid playing. However, more than anything “Home, Like No Place is There” is a poetic account of guilt, love, destructive relationships and most prevalent – loss, experienced by singer Christian Holden. The album opens calmly with “An Introduction to the Album” as listeners practically wake-up into Holden’s shoes – “Open the curtains/ singing birds to me ‘tear the buildings down.’ You felt blessed to receive that pleasant sound.” Holden’s lyrics flow flawlessly through enjambments with a pleasant tone and coherence over soft guitars, setting the atmospheric foundation of the album. The focus shifts as Holden sheds some light on specific events such as talking a friend off of a ledge – “Just remember when you’d call me to come/ take a deep breath, and then jump.”
Tension builds, and the guitars steadily become more distorted. Holden’s voice is breaking more and more into a cry overtime as he confesses – “I searched for a way out/ don’t we all? An existentialist recall/ turn in all dichotomies and truths that I gave. I felt wrong in many ways. It didn’t heal/ it just got harder everyday to be still/ to be passing through the throes in a daze/ feeling heavy/ feeling cold in my skin/ in my hand-me-downs. I’m wearing everything thin/ and the pills that you gave didn’t do anything. I just slept for years on end!” The Hotelier then explodes in a huge crescendo of emotion, as the stress somehow still builds, and Holden enters urgent as ever – “So if I call/ should I beg? Because I’m desperate here; a couple steps from the edge. I can’t seem to burn bright enough/ I’m cold and I’m left alone. We’re all alone/ grab a hold. I know I said to not/ what the fuck do I know? I had a chance to construct something beautiful and I choked/ I choked/ I choked…”
“The Scope of All This Rebuilding” tackles feelings of loathing and love within a family environment. Holden sings – “You cut our ropes, left the umbilical/ and now I carry around/ this weight of broken hope” above tight drums fill and interwoven guitar lines. The song breaks down on it’s way out as Holden’s insecurities show – “I made a promise said my eyes would stay shut/ through something called the scope of all of this rebuilding. I broke when I entered/ displaced from the center/ I can’t find my way around this. My wounds healed while my fingers fixed.”
While every track on “Home, Like No Place is There” is a great combination of catchy instrumentation and desperate but intelligent lyrics, other notable tracks include album-closer “Dendron,” and “Your Deep Rest.” The latter of which is Holden’s account of losing a friend to suicide. Holden explains in a break from the songs emotional pop-punk vibe – “I called in sick from your funeral/ the sight of your body made me feel uncomfortable/ I couldn’t recognize your shell.” Moments like this resonate through the listener, as Holden enables all to be apart of his endured experiences and carry his weight for a short while. It’s intriguing and difficult to put down once experienced.
While it may be too early to call it, “Home, Like No Place is There” is the most likely contender to be my favorite album of 2014 solely because of it’s emotional accessibility that is created in a descriptively poetic manner. Regardless, I have listened to this album everyday for the past week and recommend it to everyone, and if you don’t care for the music, read the lyrics.
The Hotelier’s Bandcamp