That big sigh you heard last week came from Motor Sales, the duo of Peter Harper and Jason Blynn, songwriting partners since their days in Harper Blynn. Two bands, two solo projects and two years since releasing their first single, they released the album “Motor Sales.”
It was not a seamless process. Twice they lost a portion of their work due to “fried hard drives,” and, they say, they spent substantial time doing “more recording, more writing, rehashing and a lot of waiting.” The end result is a collection of starry-night pop that takes its cues from ’70s balladry, old soul and lush, modern indie-pop.
The astral qualities of the record come courtesy of effervescent production by Shawn Everett (The War on Drugs, Alabama Shakes, Perfume Genius, among others). The judicious use of glossy synths and electronic effects, combined with the duo’s rich lyrical imagery, give “Motor Sales” a distinctly California feel.
L.A. is the obvious referent for “Don’t Go Through Hollywood” (locals will smile knowingly) and album closer “Los Angeles (The Myth That Builds the Empire),” but the city’s nocturnal persona also shakes its limbs in dancier tracks such as “Heat Wave” and “TV Queen.” The wide-eyed anticipation of lead track “Kick It Off,” followed by the wistful swoon of “Baby Don’t Make Me Weep,” draw one into the duo’s painterly world.
Both Harper (as James Henry Jr.) and Blynn (as Yay Blynn) have released music under their solo monikers, and combined with their work as Harper Blynn and the short-lived band Mosco Rosco, they’ve built an inventory of sharp, affecting songs. ’Tis the season of sales, so Motor Sales is worth a spin.
||| Stream: “Baby Don’t Make Me Weep” and “Boy”
||| Also: Stream “Motor Sales” in its entirety
||| Live: Motor Sales celebrate their album release with a free show tonight at Zebulon, joined by Buck Meek (of Big Thief), Clara-Nova, Pete Lalish (of Lucius), Sondre Lerche, Jonathan Ames and AO Gerber. Info.
||| Previously: “Kick It Off”