Thursday, November 30, 2006
The Paradise Motel
The Paradise Motel formed in Hobart, Tasmania in the early 1990s, with Bickford, Aulich and Bailey. They moved to Melbourne in 1995. They found their new lead singer, Merida Sussex, working in the St Kilda Public Library. They were soon signed by Mushroom Records, and released an EP, Left Over Life To Kill. This was soon followed by a remix EP, titled Some Deaths Take Forever, consisting of experimental remixes of tracks and outtakes from the original produced by the band themselves; 2,000 hand-numbered copies were produced.
For a time they were managed by Bruce Milne under the name of his company "The Shinning Path".
In 1997, The Paradise Motel released their first full-length album, Still Life. A limited edition of this album came with a bonus disc, titled Junk Mail, consisting of one 30-minute track of outtakes. Several singles followed, as did a second album, Flight Paths, whose sound was somewhat more mainstream and less sparse than the early work. The band then relocated to London, though did not record again, and broke up in 2000.
The Paradise Motel's instrumentation featured two guitars (acoustic and electric), bass, drums and a Hammond organ, and occasional accompaniment from a string quartet. Their aesthetic was one of sparseness and melancholia, punctuated by bursts of manic loudness; or, as they once said in an interview, "the violence and the silence". Their lyrical subject matter often veered towards the melancholy and macabre, which resulted in comparisons to Nick Cave and Mazzy Star, as did Sussex's vocal style. Much of the Paradise Motel's songwriting came from Charles Bickford, whilst Matt Aulich was responsible for the string and instrumental arrangements in some of their tracks.