Released: November 2014
Seattle band Motopony have broken into the big time with a deal with eOne Music, a full length debut album preceded by this brand new EP being the fruits of their labours. Frontman Daniel Blue’s varied and versatile style of performance steers the American indie pop outfit through a quintet of tracks that balances quirky synth strings and soft rock guitars, pinching from different styles and sounds yet remaining unmistakably the work of the same exciting new band.
Motopony open proceedings with Get Down (Come Up), a sparkly synth-pop affair that sees Blue channel the hugely popular sensitive tones of singers such as Ed Sheeran and Tom Odell. His vocals are full of life, yet manage to sound soft and delicate, conveying love and passion through intricate melodies and emotive lyrics: “Once you’ve been down you can forget to come back up again baby”.
The opening track’s kooky, low-key opening develops into something completely different as it enters its final quarter, resulting in a ‘70s style outro with glam rock guitars and a real sense of anthemia. The following songs follow a consistently chilled vibe, About a Song and Buffalo Medicine calling upon Coldplay and Keane with stripped back percussion and bass, and using trickling pianos to embellish the main rhythms and melodies. Things get a bit middle-of-the-road at times, but for the most part the record emits a calm, collected aura that sometimes borders on the melancholy and introspective.
She is Spirit is a track that struggles to stand out, failing to go anywhere with any kind of intent and relying on the same chords and instrument sounds for its entire duration. To begin with the song has a soothing, almost nursery rhyme tone to it, but this wears thin after about a minute, and even Daniel Blue’s strong vocals, now calling upon the extravagance of other modern pop frontmen such as Brandon Flowers and Alt-J’s Joe Newman, fail to carry a track with nothing new up its sleeve.
This is a mere blip however, as bonus track Breakthru emanates with xx-influenced ambience and an intense spoken word performance that build upon the sounds of the previous tracks and then redirect them completely. It’s a fine statement of a song that highlight’s Motopony’s penchant for game-changing stylistic decisions.
A bold effort from this Seattle band, Idle Beauty is a taster of what’s to come as Motopony prepare themselves for a big year. If this is anything to go by the new LP will boast stylistic variety, instrumental prowess and fine melodies, as Daniel Blue’s affirmative vocals interweave with warped synth sounds and soft guitars. Motopony will certainly be one to watch in the coming months.