PREMIERE: Motel Radio Make Pop Sophistication Sound Fun on “Phasing Out”

Who says being smart has to mean being boring?

“Phasing Out,” the new single from New Orleans’s Motel Radio, rolls along so easily it’s a little difficult to believe that the band has only been around for a couple of years. They formed in 2014 while in school in Baton Rouge and moved down I-10 a year later, immersing themselves in the local scene.

While it’s a bit of a stylistic misnomer to call what songwriters Ian Wellman and Winston Triolo are doing here “sophisticated pop”—“Phasing Out”’s edges are painted by David Hart’s happily squeeing organ, not the huffing and sawing of a string quartet—there is nevertheless a maturity to their writing that suggests a much older set of minds at play. Nudged along by drummer Eric Lloyd and bassist Andrew Pancamo, the song shifts between lightly ticklish Americana guitar lines, with Wellman and Triolo’s vocals falling in and out of harmony. It’s a playful, deceptively simple song that feels like it could’ve rolled over from Athens at any point in the past thirty or so years.

“Phasing Out” is taken from Desert Surf Films, the band’s forthcoming EP due out August 12 via Roll Call. Check out the song’s video, which was directed by Conner Reever, then catch them on the road in the southeast later this month.

Motel Radio tour dates

June
25 – New Orleans, LA – NOLA Brewing Company
29 – Santa Rosa Beach, FL – Seaside Amphitheatre

July
30 – Macon, GA – Bragg Jam Music Festival

August
13 – Hunstville, AL – Grotto Lights Concert at Big Spring Park

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