Savoy Motel Release “Souvenir Shop Rock”

Savoy Motel

I’ve noticed throughout the years that people’s fascination with the “old-school” has gotten very persistent. The need for anything retro has made its way into fashion, into art, into music, into almost everything. I’m even guilty of donning ‘90s-era attire for the sake of bringing the style back.

For Nashville quartet Savoy Motel, however, bringing back the old-school traditions of the past doesn’t necessarily mean wearing frayed bell-bottoms or listening to strictly classic rock (although they have mastered the ‘70s attire aesthetic).

The old and the new seem to come together as one for Savoy Motel, as they seek to create a new, unified sound out of an intrinsic blend of musical influences. They offer not just a mere tribute to sounds of the past but rather a completely new end product.

With the release of their latest single, “Souvenir Shop Rock,” the genre-mashing retro party-rock band combine elements of ‘70s psychedelic rock and funk, ‘90s rock, and a contemporary groove that is hard to come by.

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The band, who describe themselves as “[using] rock and roll as a vehicle to reach and promote the feeling of total freedom,” exemplify a completely carefree method of performance that is actually quite refreshing to hear. This isn’t a band trying to emulate the sounds of the past; nor is this a band that fits into the conventional mold of pop-rock. Rather, this is a band that celebrates its uniqueness in a way that shows off its artistic capability.

“Souvenir Shop Rock” opens with some blaring trumpets and is followed by a cool, groovy guitar riff. The falsetto of the track’s vocals kind of adds a contemporary feel; they’re reminiscent of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker (along with the other hundreds of indie bands that use falsetto to their advantage). There’s a cool array of funk chords, rock rhythms, and psychedelic elements to the track that make it sound both new and old.

There are times when I think the song’s hard guitar chords sound like Lenny Kravitz’s rendition of “American Woman,” but then it totally switches into Jimi Hendrix mode with elongated, trippy guitar solos that bring the track back in time. “Souvenir Shop Rock” is just one giant time warp — Savoy Motel manages to truly capture the many sounds of rock through the years and puts them through a contemporary lens.

Savoy Motel’s sound is unique in that it creates something new from familiar sounds. It’s quite hard to limit “Souvenir Shop Rock” to just one genre, since the song’s sound is just one giant mix of musical influences.

These people sure know how to groove, though, and for that I commend them.

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