Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
There's a sign on the candy confectionary's property down the street, in the little village area in the neighborhood, that explained that there was just one week left to take advantage of their caramel apples. I fear that I've missed the deadline. I'm almost positive that I saw that sign two weeks ago, which would put me seven days late to secure a few of the season's coveted caramel apples. It's just the way it works sometimes. You can miss out on these things if you're not too careful.
This warning sign strangely came to mind tonight, while listening to Los Angeles band Saint Motel, as it seems to me that these four men would NEVER fucking miss out on the only damned time during the year when they could get these delicious caramel apples. Not a chance would this have slipped past them. They would have bought enough to last them for a while.
You see, Saint Motel - made up of lead singer and guitarist A/J Jackson, guitarist Aaron Sharp, bassist Dak and drummer Greg Erwin - are connoisseurs of the sticky and the sweet, but they're also that when it comes to these feelings of youthful nostalgia, or rather a feeling that if something used to be good when we were younger, it seems to stand to reason that it could be good once again. We once believed in caramel apples and we can believe in them still, or regain our faith in them once more, if we just had one of those gooey, crunchy treats here right now.
The band makes its vices sound and seemingly taste like salt water taffy. Jackson sings about California dreams and somehow they sound attainable anywhere. These dreams and the romantic's view of good love are addictions and he's hooked on them, singing, "It's just so hard to quit when you're hooked on it." He pulls closer a jug of wine, gives hell to "days that don't make love with the night" and writes a bunch of hooky songs that sound like good meals that you'll think about occasionally and remember vividly for the rest of your life, as they're always going to speak to that one specific night.