Hotel Mira: Speaking Off The Record
The alt-rock project led by former JPNSGRLS frontman Charlie Kerr serves up a soul-baring single featuring plaintive vocals and smartly-executed instrumentation.
By Kerry Doole
Hotel Mira - Speaking Off The Record (Light Organ Records). This Vancouver alt-rock band is spearheaded by Charlie Kerr, formerly of the highly-touted JPNSGRLS. His new project impressed with an eponymous debut EP last year, and a full-length, Perfectionism, comes out Feb. 14.
In a label press release, Kerr describes the album this way: “This project, like many before it, is a direct result of falling deeply in love. I had been writing songs that felt more poppy and the sound we were moving toward was a lot more polished. But lyrically I was really writing some of the darkest material I ever have and spilling my soul all over the place. Most of these songs were written with tears streaming down my face. Somewhere between an open book and an open wound. Perfectionism is something that had plagued me forever.”
New single Speaking Off The Record reaffirms these sentiments. Kerr states that "Speaking Off The Record is the mandate of what I tried to do here. I tried to make shameful, entirely private moments in my life, public. This song is supposed to feel like a candid conversation with a mental health professional or a guardian angel or a loved one. I have always wanted to keep these thoughts to myself in fear of someone coming along decrying what I have written and destroying my admittedly fragile version of the truth that I have built brick-by-brick for a very long time. But I am currently in a state that feels healthy enough to take that risk."
Heavy stuff, but the mid-tempo tune itself is pleasing rather than depressing, with Kerr's plaintive vocals framed within low-key but well-crafted instrumentation.
For Perfectionism, Hotel Mira worked with Grammy-award winning producer Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Arkells), and the results are keenly anticipated.