Gold Motel – Summer House

Band: Gold Motel
Album: Summer House
Release Date: June 1, 2010

Gold Motel’s debut full length, Summer House, is filled with generous helpings of sugary, summer pop. Most everything on the album is quick and wildly catchy. And at just under 30 minutes of run time, it’s a breeze to listen to the thing straight through.

I know this because I did many, many times.

Summer House, actually, is a super-sized version of the band’s self-titled debut EP, which included half of the tunes (“Perfect in My Mind,” “Make Me Stay,” “The Cruel One,” “Who Will I Be Tonight?” and Don’t Send the Searchlights”) later added to Summer House’s 10-track listing.

“Perfect in My Mind,” the lead single off the EP, is a good representation on what you get from a band like Gold Motel. It’s accessible, fun and concise. At 3:14, it’s actually one of the longer tracks on the album.

I like “Perfect” because, I believe, it’s a song about that indescribable feeling of falling helplessly in love.

Take a look:

I don’t have forever, but I’ll live like I do
Feels like endless summer with the light shining through
All I have is borrowed, my skin and my bones
All I have is borrowed, but I wear these summer clothes

Every thing is just fine
Every thing is just fine
So long as I’m by your side
It’s perfect in my mind

Those lines about everything being borrowed really hit a home run with me. It just about sums up infatuation: That your possessions, your bones, your very being are secondhand next to that guy or gal you can’t stop thinking about.

“Don’t Send the Searchlights” is a good one, too, but for differently reasons entirely. For one, it may be as upbeat (in sound) as “Perfect,” yet its message is clearly opposite. Instead of infatuation, “Searchlights” is about closing the door on, well, failure.

I love Greta Morgan’s line about her man being “watercolor” and that he’ll just “wash away.” And the idea of calling off the searchlights — putting an end to the rescue party — is a glowing one. Greta’s an excellent writer, and it shows here.

Like the older songs on the EP, the five new ones on the full length are related to relationships, too.

“Summer House” is probably the most hopeful of the bunch.

I like this:

Some say love’s a burning building
Love’s a sinking ship
But I like the heat
I like the noise

We are fools and we know it
Trying not to show it
With every look
Every face

“Summer House” is two people who understand they might be wrong for each other, but not letting it affect them. Or, it’s two people who people think will be wrong for each other, but again, not heeding the tip.

It’s knowing that what you’re doing is something you think might be right for you, and letting that be enough. Independence, in a nutshell.

“Safe in LA” is for the peeps doing the long distance thing out there. Good friends of mine, actually, have been doing the coast to coast thing for a few years now, and this tune reminded me of them and how awesome their feelings must be if they can get by with each other without being physically near one another.

Check it out:

Baby don’t fear, I’m always near
Never too far from where you are
Coast away, waitin’ for the day when we’re both safe in LA
Maybe we’re right, maybe we’re wrong
Maybe we’re both too far gone
Coast away, waitin’ for the day when we’re both safe in LA

Summer House is an impressive debut for five bandmates that previously worked for other bands prior to Gold Motel’s founding. Greta is of The Hush Sound, which is on hiatus, while Dan Duszynski, Matt Minx and Adam Coldhouse are of This is Me Smiling. Eric Hehr, a guitarist, is formerly of two Chicago bands, The Villains of Verona and The Yearbooks.


  • Gold Motel, based in Chicago, is Greta Morgan (vocals/keys), Eric Hehr (guitar), Dan Duszynski (guitar/vocals), Matt Minx (bass) and Adam Coldhouse (drums).
  • Free streams of Summer House are available on Gold Motel’s Bandcamp page. It can also be purchased for $8.
  • Gold Motel doesn’t have any upcoming Chicago gigs… Gold Motel will rock Subterranean on November 27. Tickets, which go on sale on September 18, are $10 ($12 day of). They’ll also be playing in Urbana on September 24 (for $10) and Decatur on September 25 for Millikin University’s Bounce Fest.

Enjoy this review? Check out other Music Reviews on Chicago Tunes!

“Safe in LA” official music video


About Eric

Hello there. Email your things to chicagotunes[at]gmail[dot]com.
This entry was posted in Gold Motel, Music Review, Video. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Gold Motel – Summer House

  1. Kurt says:

    Actually, GM will be playing at Subterranean on Saturday, November 27th.

  2. Pingback: Top albums of 2010 (my turn!) | Chicago Tunes

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