Hotel Pools – ‘Palmscapes’

by | Jun 9, 2021 | BandCamp, LPs and EPs, Reviews

Hotel Pools released their fourth dream-synth pop LP, called Palmscapes. Ben Braun of Portland, Oregon, is the artist behind Hotel Pools who has consistently created incredible instrumental electronic tracks since he began in 2018. Palmscapes, which was released through Stratford, Ct., is no exception.

Palmscapes is rich with EQ sweeping and filtering, and wow and flutter from bounding to tape machines. Electronic beats drive the songs forward, and layers of synth tones create vibey melodies. The mixing on this album is perfect; everything fits well together in its own space.

The eleven songs on this album clock in at 35 minutes. Each song has distinct qualities and characteristics, yet they all flow well from beginning tog end.

Hotel Pools – Oceanside (YouTube)

Braun collaborated with four vaporware producers on this full-length: VIQ, Decisive Koala, Forhill, and upusen. Splash brings in VIQ’s electric guitar melodies, and Decisive Koala brings a slow-building tone on Bonfire, with longer sweeps and developing filters. Label-mate Forhill joins Hotel Pools on Coco for a track that feels like a remix (VIQ is also a Stratford, Ct. artist). Cherry that was created with upusen has a more complex beat than the rest of the album.

Note that the album on BandCamp has two additional tracks: Hideaway and Polaris. Krosia collaborates with Braun on Hideaway, and Echosoft joins him on Polaris. Both tracks belong on the album. (Stratford, Ct. released Echosoft’s latest single, Aura,)

Typically, I might put on chillwave artists to have music playing in the background so I can concentrate better on what I’m working on. With Hotel Pools though, Ben crafts his music so nicely that I pay attention to it like I do any other intricately developed song. Not only will I be slipping this album on a lot in the future, I will be drawing inspiration from Palmscapes for mixing ideas.

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