ALBUM REVIEW: HOTEL MIRA TURNS HEARTACHE INTO A WHIMSICAL SOUNDSCAPE WITH 'PERFECTIONISM'


It was in the halls of a Vancouver high school that this group first formed back in 2007.

Over the years, names have changed and members have come and gone, but – at its core, Hotel Mira still stands strong.

Originally known as The Beauties, the band started gigging under the moniker Japanese Girls in 2010 – a tribute to another band they admired, an all-female Japanese indie band called Mass of the Fermenting Dregs. JPNSGRLS – now Hotel Mira, have been a fixture in the Vancouver indie scene for nearly a decade.

In April 2018, founding member and lead vocalist Charlie Kerr announced that the band would be moving forward as Hotel Mira. The announcement was accompanied by a new single "3AM Lullaby" off their 2018 eponymously-titled EP.

Fittingly released on Valentines Day, Hotel Mira's new album Perfectionism is a "direct result of falling deeply in love,” explains lyricist and lead vocalist, Kerr.

“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."


Perfectionism brings with it, a transition in sound from the garage into a considerably lusher landscape. Kerr's distinctive vocals and honest lyricism deliver eleven perfectly punchy and danceable tracks that – at the same time, maintain his band's distinctive riffs. For this project – in collaboration with Grammy-award winning producer Eric Ratz (Arkells, Billy Talent), Kerr focused on writing sharper hooks and more memorable melodies to create an album full of anthemic feels and raw lyrics without sacrificing any of their distinctive rock energy.

The band's first album under their new name via Light Organ Records is the perfect infusion of alternative edge with polished pop-punk undertones. From the title track's pulsing thump and playful lyrical arrangement to the upbeat gang vocals and building outro on the album's closing track "You Know Best," Hotel Mira have crafted a satisfyingly fluid collection of alt-rock anthems.

The whimsically dream-like soundscape that opens up and carries throughout "This Could Be It For Me" is contrasted by a bouncing, upbeat chorus. Working together – the asymmetrical sounds, on this track alone display the depth and ability that is perfected throughout the Perfectionism to construct a uniquely diverse spectrum of alternative rock.

Perfectionism's collective sound ebbs and flows in the same fashion as the lead single. Almost every slower song on this release is preceded by a diverging upbeat bop. The up and down in each song and in its entirety of Perfectionism, takes listeners on a vibrant and unpredictable ride.

Kerr *perfects* the blend of deep yet witty lyricism with his vulnerably-addictive verses and choruses. His ability to dig deep within himself and deliver his autobiographical storytelling oozes through the dazzling melodies.

All of my demons 
are singing Cat Stevens 
tonight  

Hotel Mira set out on short tour later this month to share their new album with their West Coast fans, kicking things off in their home province at Victoria's Lucky Bar.



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