Album Review: August Hotel – Charms EP – Bringing 80s Gold Back to Life

Do you remember the 80s? Of course you do. Well, except for the significant portion of our readership who are too young to remember the 80s. But don’t worry, even if you don’t remember it the decade’s music style is everywhere right now. Some of those influences help to define the new album from rising pop band August Hotel.

If dramatic vocals are your bag, you’ll find a lot to like on August Hotel’s new album. The passions on “Michigan Again” are outright desperate. Crying out for something – maybe love? It’s a lyrical style that expresses something seemingly primal. The guitar work sounds like it’s right out of the 80s, making for an interesting “new take on an old sound” vibe.

Now “12 AM” is the song that got them on our radar and it is absolutely a legit interesting song. The vocal sound is much more minimal at the opening, but nevertheless desperate and honest. But the beat and synth work on this is definitely from the 80s catalog. I keep expecting Michael J. Fox to come out and talk to me about the future.

“Can I Be in Love With You” has some phenomenal guitar work. There’s an effect on it that gives it a bit of a funky tone, which works for the Bowie-esque vocal on this one. It’s pretty hard to believe that this song was recorded in the past year because it just feels so much like the early 80s. The “disco meets guitar rock” vibe is almost overwhelming.

The final synth-heavy “Crystallized” will get you dancing with your high socks and side parts bouncing. I mean the theme is here, so let’s just run with it, right? And by run, I mean jazzercise. Sorry I can’t stop. I’m writing with the eye of the tiger. Okay, seriously. I need to finish this up so I can meet up with my friends in the Breakfast Club. If you didn’t catch all those, let’s just say the vibe of the song is still very, very 80s.

We don’t always cover 80s-inspired music, but when we do it has to be this magical. I mean I feel like I should be looking for my Trapper Keeper. I wonder if I can get this on cassette…

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