Hotel Hotel – Cactus Hands
Possessing a cinematic sheen to it, Hotel Hotel’s “Cactus Hands” feels akin to a mystical sonic journey. The way the song builds itself up feels powerful. A muscular though not overwhelming presence of the rhythm helps to drive the sound forward. Everything swirls around in a constant state of flux. Strings, tribal drums, steady bass, all of it works together. One of the most incredible things is how this loose a sound has all the players listening to each other, working together to avoid solos instead offering a beautiful representation of group play. Melody, exploration of texture, these are the things that come to give shape to the spellbinding sound.
Nearly silent at first the song comes into focus with great care. Sounds bubble up to the surface their origins not entirely clear. Guitars have a gentle layered approach as their softness helps to get the rhythm fully started. Upon the first glimpse of the percussion a primal beat rests at the very heart of the sound. Quite limber, the way the song seems to softly float gives it a mystical quality. Upon the strings entering the mix the entire pieces becomes increasingly more passionate. At first the strings have a distant quality to them but over each cycle they become closer and closer, infused with a spirited passion. The ebb and flow of the piece, from symphonic sounds to something approximating jazz, is majestic. By the finale of the song everything settles down into a careful, fragile rhythm before it simply collapses under its own weight.
Hotel Hotel delivers an intimate, emotionally charged performance with the radiant style of “Cactus Hands”.