Motel Radio

Harmony is king in Motel Radio. The four piece, dual front man indie band from New Orleans builds silky, melodic guitar waves for their stacked vocals to surf across. Breezy yet intentional, pop-minded yet psychedelic; their tunes are as likely to stick with young songwriters as they are veteran deadheads.

In New Orleans, music wafts through the windows night and day. From the sidesticking second lines to the croons of the troubadours on Royal Street, Motel Radio draws inspiration from the sounds of their home city while adding their own indie flair to the pot. The group spent the past year writing and recording their debut full-length Siesta Del Sol with producer, engineer, and neighbor Eric Heigle. They split time between Heigle’s studio (Wix Mix Productions) and their own home studio a block away to produce the dynamic 10 song LP, which will release in July of 2019. The record will be accompanied by a five week summer tour supporting Austin-based indie band Summer Salt.

The album title “Siesta Del Sol “ was derived from a jukebox song the band heard at a bar in Marfa, TX during their first tour of the west coast. It was a nostalgic and defining moment for the group: four musicians who had started as college roommates simultaneously felt a cosmic emotion and awareness of what they’d been building together. They realized they were chasing something bigger than themselves as they continued their journey west.

Since their last release (Desert Surf Films EP 2016), the band has played festivals across the U.S. (New Orleans Jazz Fest, Firefly Festival, Voodoo, and SXSW to name a few), and opened for artists like Kurt Vile, Moon Taxi, Drive By Truckers, Dylan LeBlanc and Summer Salt.

“Telling stories that are relatable and don’t try too hard is important to me,” says Ransom Pier’s Hayley Harrington as she sits at the table of her childhood home on the North Shore of Long Island. “Most songs start from a single lyric or concept and work their way outwards from there.” The way Hayley tells it, her obsession with lyrics and storytelling was born in middle school as she immersed herself in the work of Bob Dylan, the Band, CSNY, and the Grateful Dead. She honed her craft by composing new verses to her favorite songs before, eventually, building a collection of her own original material and searching for a band.

Formed in 2015, Ransom Pier has maintained an emphasis on intimacy and simplicity over the course of their young career. “Hayley played Love’s a Bitch at the jam session where we first met, and I remember being very struck by the bare honesty of her playing,” says bassist William Carrigan. “To this day, if we don’t love the way an idea sounds with just her or just the two of us, that idea isn’t ready to be a song just yet.” The resulting output has included extensive touring in the eastern United States behind two EPs - If They Can’t Take a Joke (2015) and Feels Like Home to Me (2019) - a studio album - Beauty & Demise (2017) - and a live album - New York, NY 12/15/18 (2019). Love’s a Bitch, Turn Your Head, Just Waiting, and the rest of the band’s catalog offer listeners music that feels familiar on first listen and has won glowing comparisons to Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, and Norah Jones.

Looking ahead, the now Brooklyn-based Americana duo aim to release two more EPs in 2019 and continue to build a regional and national following. “Our band does a great job of creating space and listening to one another,” says Hayley. “We’ve started approaching our studio sessions like live performances; so with minor exceptions, everything you hear on a Ransom Pier record was tracked live in a single take. That collective energy is everything.”


Hayley and William are generally joined by Evan Harris (Six Time Users, Robbing Johnny) on guitar and Max Maples (NOARU, Blak Emoji) on drums. To date, they have performed alongside the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, the Other Favorites, Maelyn Jarmon, Copilot, Tom Walker, Mike & the Moonpies, Hannah Wicklund & the Stepping Stones, and Sarah Lee Guthrie. “Realistically, we’re just hitting our stride,” says William. “Each of us knows where we need to sit musically in order for the words and stories to shine through.” As Hayley’s voice soars over larger and increasingly delighted audiences, Ransom Pier’s future seems bright indeed

$10-$12

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