Mike Hotter Transforms A Decade of Songwriting with “Room to Land”

Mike Hotter has produced a great album, filled with complex, and layered songs and lyrics that capture an emotional state we can all relate to right now concerning isolation and division. 

From the first track “SUN ROSE,” which sounds like a dreamier version of The Fleet Foxes, one can tell that the record will be a rich sound experience.  The chords and lyrics melt together like a fading sunset. 

Track two “CITIZEN” also has a spacey dream like quality to it with a more rollicking flow and great lyrics about the fragility and possibility of being a human. “I’m a citizen of this world ya know, we don’t got very far to go, but we can go far when we’re found.” This writer thinks the lyrics relate to our own mortality bu also celebrate connection.

The third track “PEDLAR’S PARISH” come in a little more upbeat with hooks like Vampire Weekend drops on their last two records.  This fun track is more precise with a very tight backline driving it forward.

The fourth track “MY WOMANS LOVE” is as it sounds a beautiful love song.  It is very pretty and even has a little but of a twang to it. 

After seeing Yo La Tengo at Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky earlier this year and being blown away, I can equally say the Hotter did the band justice with a great cover of the fifth track “DRUG TEST.”  The guitar work here is very moody, soulful and engaging.

Track 6 is an instrumental that also adds a soulful groove much like The War On Drugs or The Shouting Matches do.

Then again we shift into a new track with a familiar sound to the record but “THE CROSS EYED MOON” lingers and fades as more of a folk anthem.  It is very much like a CSN song, and contains much depth and warmth. 

Track eight “SEARCHLIGHT INN (SHORELINE)” the longest on the album, begins with un up tempo, almost marching beat that fades into a dreamy sequence.  The tune reappears into a fuzzy rocking jam that sounds like Dylan’s band on Time out of Mind. 

“Pinewood Tales” the next track takes the listener back to that twang and rollicking flow with a great layered mix that vibes well with the lyrics. 

The final and title track eases us back gently, kind of like a Tom Petty classic, urging us

Drawing of Mike Hotter by Lillierose Ruby-Eck

With layers of violin and piano moving in and out of this amazing record one could just simply marvel at the production.  Add that to incredible lyrics and over a decade of collecting material “ROOM TO LAND” is a great listen and this writer would recommend to anyone, I’m already on listen three.

Pick it up at Bandcamp: https://senorsimpatico.bandcamp.com/album/room-to-land

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