Recorded in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, “Blue Motel” (Lovemonk/Légère/Burger) is the new album by Bart Davenport with his band The Bedazzled and produced by Aaron M. Olson (L.A. Takedown). Davenport explores new territory with this moody and cinematic work.
The Bedazzled is a band line-up that brings together the jangly guitars of Wayne Faler (Dream Boys) with the soul beats of drummer and percussionist, Andres Renteria (Jose Gonzales) and the post punk bass lines of Jessica Espeleta (also of L.A. Takedown), all wrapped around Davenport’s soulful voice. The four friends, united in their affection for the “Elegant 80s” sounds of Prefab Sprout and Style Council give Davenport’s songs a distinct aesthetic that producer, Aaron M. Olson relished in augmenting. Olson’s own music incorporates soundtrack and avant-garde elements. His gift for song arrangement and talent with synthesizers both weave their way into Blue Motel seamlessly and subtly. The resulting sound is Anglophile pop meets West Coast yacht rock with occasional sci-fi weirdness. Vocalist Nedelle Torrisi makes several guest appearances, including the lush layers of harmony on “The Amateurs”. Saxophonist Billy McShane is also featured on three songs with improvisations that evoke scenes of whale watching on the moon.
Themes include day jobs, dating, urban decay, lost innocence and most prominently time travel. “Blue Motel” lives somewhere in an imagined past or future that is curiously both the Eighties and the Sixties, conveying nostalgia for a fantasy world and a cheeky cynicism in a time where things seem to be collapsing around us. Davenport’s songs are delivered with his signature happy/sad sensibility. From the slapstick melancholia of “The House That Built Itself”, to the sad surf music of “Halloween By The Sea” or the romantic L.A. noir of the title track “Blue Motel”, Bart & The Bedazzled deliver an album with a spoonful of tears, a nod and a wink.
released April 27, 2018
Bart & The Bedazzled:
Bart Davenport – vocals, guitar
Jessica Espeleta – bass
Wayne Faler – lead guitar
Andres Renteria – drums, percussion, drum machine
With help from:
Aaron M. Olson – synthesizer, piano
Nedelle Torrisi – backing vocals
Billy McShane – saxophone
Robin MacMillan – drums, keyboard on ‘Your Sorrow’
Produced by Aaron M. Olson
Additional production by Robin MacMillan on ‘Blue Motel’, ‘The Amateurs’ and ‘Your Sorrow’
Recorded by Jason Soda at Palomino Sound, Los Angeles CA
Mixed by William Faler, Santa Monica CA
Mastered by JJ Golden at Golden Mastering, Ventura CA
Artwork by Kara Joslyn
Front: Crescent Moon, acrylic and polymer car paint on panel, 2015
Back: Morning Star, acrylic and polymer car paint on panel, 2016
Photos by Cassandra Lee Hamilton
Sleeve Design by Utah
All songs written by Bart Davenport (Vic Silva Songs, BMI)
except ‘Grownups’ by Davenport/Faler (Vic Silva Songs, BMI/ASCAP)
and ‘Time Machine For Two’ by Davenport/Olson (Vic Silva Songs, BMI/Aaron M. Olson, ASCAP)
Looking at the albumcover and titel, you get what you see. Great instrumentation and vocal performances, as well as catchy songriting. Every song is great, the album has a nice flow to it's tracklist. What else could you ask for?