27 Sep 2021

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Hotel Death Star - Single Review: The Daylight

10 Sep 2021 // A review by Gareth Heta
Hotel Death Star are a relatively new duo, finding life in 2020 when singer-songwriter Phil Stoodley collaborated with composer-producer Andreas Arianto to craft their interpretation of melodic deep-house blended with more traditional songwriting elements. Fans of electronic genres will find plenty to like here, but crossover appeal might be limited.

Only their third single, The Daylight is a minimalist groove with fragile vocals, a lilting guitar refrain, finger-click snare, and pulsating bass. Guest vocalist Asteriska soothes alongside Stoodley’s gravelly croons, alternating between sparse lyrics and soulful vocalizing. The instrumental elements gather in intensity then drop out at a couple of points, but it mostly cruises along on the same dream-like vibe, and the lack of compositional progression is noticeable in a 5 minute tune - I found myself wanting a new element past the 3-minute mark.

The release is accompanied by an appropriately hypnotic video, with cloud, smoke, oil and water particles floating across the musician’s faces, reinforcing the ethereal quality of the music. While it’s a little stuck between a guitar/drum-based 3-minute folk song and a meditative dancefloor shoe-gazer, there’s enough skill on show to suggest that these ideas explored across a whole album (or live show) would be engrossing.

The Daylight releases September 10th on all major streaming services.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About Hotel Death Star

Forging the skills of singer-songwriter Phil Stoodley and composer-producer Andreas Arianto, this collab was spawned in the cold mountains of snow-drenched Japan. Caught in a storm, Phil scratched out melodic beats in the room of a hotel that inhaled the weather, rather than protected him from it.

Bringing the rough recordings back to his home in Bali, Phil teamed up with Andreas and together they shaped the new sounds into a writhing pulse of deep-house while keeping the grit of its birthplace firmly etched within its grinding drones and beats.

Their first single, ‘You’re Not Jesus’ found its title whilst kayaking with friends as the sun rose over the North Bali ocean. As one friend swam off into the deep, another was caught on video screaming a warning, “You’re not Jesus!” The audio immortalised in Hotel Death Star’s first release, looped as a sample to mark the track’s chorus.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Hotel Death Star


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