so in doing interviews and talking to people i’ve been asked what some of the songs on ‘hotel’ are about, and where the ‘hotel’ title/idea came from.
so, here goes…
the title ‘hotel’ is mainly inspired by the idea of the temporary, specifically temporary relationships. perhaps you’re familiar with the experience of having a relationship that is warm and loving and filled with respect and attraction, but that, in the end of the day, doesn’t work? so you’re in the relationship but you know that you’re going to have to leave. it almost makes the warmth and the intimacy of the relationship that much stronger and that much more intense knowing that it’s temporary.
everything in our lives is temporary, including our lives themselves, obviously. but the intimacy of loving, but temporary, relationships was one of the inspirations for the ‘hotel’ title and idea. we stay in hotels for brief periods of time. they are places where we live but that are not our homes.
on to the songs…
‘raining again’ is about a relationship that’s falling apart while the world seems to be falling apart at the same time. almost a ‘mise en scene’ where in the foreground a relationship is crumbling and in the background the world is crumbling, too.
‘beautiful’ is, on one hand, a simple and devious love song. on the other hand it’s also about celebrity couples being simple and self-congratulatory.
‘lift me up’…this is a complicated one…’lift me up’ is about the human propensity towards turning off our higher, critical, rational cognitive functions and willfully and enthusiastically degenerating to an atavistic tribal state wherein we don’t judge things from an empirical, rational perspective, but rather from a limbic, feral, tribal perspective.
and it’s also about how religious leaders and political leaders(and, well, entertainers, too…but hopefully in a relatively benign way…)play upon peoples willingness to lose themselves in said atavistic, tribal, collective, irrational behaviour.(most descriptive line: ‘it’s sweeter than doubt’, regarding the certainy that comes with ‘true belief’…).
‘where you end’ is a simple, sad song about ending a relationship but still deeply loving the person with whom you had been involved.
‘temptation’ is a cover song. ask barney.
‘spiders’ is a song that is partially a tribute to david bowie, but it’s also about feeling profoundly disconnected from the dominant cultural milieu in which i find myself, especially in the u.s in 2005. when i was growing up i found great comfort and solidarity and understanding through the company of musicians(david bowie, ian curtis, etc)whom i’d never met but whose music made me feel connected to something. there is also some obvious christ imagery in this song that will resonate with some people and not resonate with others.
‘dream about me’ is a song about being in a flawed relationship that, although flawed, is still warm and intimate and loving. it’s a song about being part of a couple but still feeling like an isolated individual and recognizing that it’s impossible to find complete fulfillment through another person even if the two people in the couple genuinely love one another.
‘very’ is about staying out late and dancing to donna summer records.
‘i like it’ is kind of self-explanatory.
‘love should’ is a love song, a simple, little love song.
‘slipping away’ is a song that i don’t really want to explain. i think that the meaning of the song is pretty self-explanatory, but it might mean very subjectively different things to different people, so i’m going to leave this one up to you.
‘forever’ is, again, a very simple love song. it’s a song about loving someone so much that you want to turn your back on the temporal miasma that we all inhabit, and somehow turn love and intimacy into a timeless, eternal place that you never have to leave.