Hazelwood Motel
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"Three Imaginary Girls CD Review"

“Debut albums are referred to by many characterizations, not the least of which are “promising” and “a sign of things to come.” But in the case of Hazelwood Motel, that “thing” has already arrived long ago. One gets the sense that the band is completely content with their musical choices, and that their sound is one that has been and always will be with them. This confidence bleeds right into their hearts and out of their fingers and mouths, spilling onto twelve quietly brazen tracks.”

-Will Morgan, February 15, 2008
Three Imaginary Girls - www.threeimaginarygirls.com


"KEXP Song of the Day"

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Every Friday, the Song of the Day podcast spotlights local musicians. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is “Break Myself in Two” by Hazelwood Motel on their self-released, self-titled debut album.

In 2006, songwriter Ed Vierda met songstress Megan Pickerel (Swoon 23) at an open-mic in Bozeman, Mt. The two quickly bonded as they both had children the same age and were planning on a move to Seattle. Ed had been looking for a female singer in Bozeman’s thriving music and art scene to record songs he had written. Once in Seattle, the two met drummer Patrick Smail through friends who knew him from Easy Street Records in West Seattle. The result is their debut album which is a blend of dreamy pop music with quiet guitar riffs and beautiful harmonies. Their boy/girl dynamics and band name often get them compared to 60’s icon Lee Hazlewood (”These Boots are Made for Walking,” “Some Velvet Morning”). The band’s name is actually a combination of pseudonyms that Megan and Ed performed under while in Montana. Ed was dubbed Flapjack Hazelwood while Megan frequently used Maggie Motel. Incidentally, Megan’s brother Mark Pickerel has one of the largest Lee Hazlewood memorabilia collections in the world, but neither Mark nor Lee provide any direct influences for the band’s music.

Hazelwood Motel is self-releasing their album now, but they have garnered interest from a few labels. Each of their 1,000 original copies is hand stamped and stickered and features original artwork by Megan. It can be purchased at local record stores or via their website. You can catch them at the Sunset Tavern on May 3rd with Conrad Ford or June 5th at the Rebar for the Little Pieces CD release party. Check their Myspace page for more information. They will also be featured on an upcoming NadaMucho compilation.


This entry was posted on Friday, April 25th, 2008 at 7:17 am and is filed under KEXP, Song of the Day Podcast. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
2 Responses to “Song of the Day: Hazelwood Motel - Break Myself in Two”
Brent Amaker Says:

April 26th, 2008 at 6:42 pm
This is my favorite CD to come out in the past year. Hazelwood Motel are amazing. Good to see them getting such great exposure. Thanks KEXP!

Landon Says:

June 11th, 2008 at 8:37 pm
Another incredible right under my nose and I never knew it.

Thank you KEXP!

Link to original Post: http://blog.kexp.org/blog/2008/04/25/free-local-music-hazelwood-motel-break-myself-in-two - www.blog.kexp.org


"Seattle Weekly Reverb Fest"

Hazelwood Motel
Ed Vierda, Megan Pickerel (yes, Mark Pickerel's sister), and Patrick Smail make quiet, lo-fi folk music that uses whispered words, echoes, and tremulous vocals to create a moody atmosphere ideal for personal reflection, rainy days, and healing battered hearts. Though "Break Myself in Two," probably the loudest track on the band's recent self-titled release, seems to be the go-to single, soft songs like "My Demon," "Say What You Will," and "Envy" seem to more accurately embody the band's sound. And "Say What You Will" is the only track on the record where Megan Pickerel steps out and takes the lead on vocals, letting her lilting voice carry the song. Hardly a party album, Hazelwood Motel possesses tremendous power in its quietest moments. In a whisper, the world ends, and then, with a strumming guitar, it's born anew. Yes. Their music is really that outstanding. SB

Link to Original Article: http://www.seattleweekly.com/2008-10-01/music/conor-byrne-s.php - Seattle Weekly


"KEXP Reverb Coverage"

High-points for me were hanging out at the Sunset with friendly and funny roots veteran Herman Jolly (ex-Sunset Valley) and getting a copy of the debut from his new group, Little Pieces – the warm sounds of which settled my soused nerves on the way home last night. I also caught Jolly’s wife’s band, Hazelwood Motel, amid a packed and attentive crowd filling the Conor Byrne pub. Megan Pickerel (sister to Mark) was in Portland shoegaze band Swoon 23 at the end of the last decade, and she has carried a moony sweetness into the pensive small town tenement laments of band-mate and fellow front-person Ed Vierda. From the adorably semi-serious look on her face, she seemed happy to connect with the daytime audience. An unceremoniously relaxed Vierda admitted he wasn’t used to entertaining in this amount of sunshine (such as it was peaking through the leaves blowing outside). During the set, Pickerel delightfully played a weird old keyboard to flavor the mood swinging of tracks like “Break Myself In Two” and “My Demon.” Tempos changed greatly and third part of the trio, Patrick Smail, shifted from delicate syncopation to bash and roll with ease, charging up some pretty sobering reflections from what can imagine is the damaged but determined life of Ed Vierda.

Original article in its entirety is published here: http://blog.kexp.org/blog/2008/10/08/live-review-reverbfest-2008-ballard-104/ - KEXP.org


Discography

Hazelwood Motel Self-Titled
Nada Mucho Compilation

Photos

Bio

Hazelwood Motel's music has been described as beautifully haunting songs played with conviction. It is original enough that no comparisons are obvious, but The Arcade Fire, Elliott Smith, Mazzy Star are usually some of the first to come to mind. Some influences include; The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Grandaddy, The Flaming Lips, Elliott Smith, Eels, Radiohead, Roy Orbison, Velvet Underground, Neutral Milk Hotel, Kings of Convenience, Mazzy Star, & more.
Ed Vierda and Megan Pickerel originally started the band while living in Montana. After spending about six months apart they rejoined in Seattle and added Patrick Smail on Drums.
Their first record was mostly recorded at home by Ed Vierda and mixed by Tony Lash in Portland. It is currently being self-released.