New West Motels

New West Motels


Sweetly mopey "love pop" that smart girls find irresistable. (That's the idea anyways.)


New West Motels began as a recording project, featuring singer/songwriter Rob Sharp (ex-Wussy Beat Up The Jocks) and drummer Joel Trueblood (ex-Neko Case & Her Boyfriends, Untamed Youth). Massive amounts of Bourbon and a mutual love of Scottish indie bands melds them into an incredibly tight (but relaxed) duo of "love pop” purveyors.

With the assistance of guest bassplayers the band starts playing out live (opening for The Posies’ Jon Auer in their first performance). The gigs go so well Joel tells Rob “I love these songs… I love them so much, I’m quitting!” (No drama, actually, Joel left to raise babies with his wife, Renee—and still shows up occasionally at performances to get coaxed on stage.)

[Long depressing interlude here about Rob’s sister and both his parents dying in a span of two months—from cancer, and a car accident… Bereavement period ensues, followed by 2 years of hibernation, in a tiny town on the west peninsula of Puget Sound.]

It’s 2005, New West Motels reemerges as a full-fledged band. A solid lineup is found in guitarist Max Keene, Detroit drummer Erik Jensen, and New Zealand bassplayer Mike Walker. Shows become more frequent. Without a legitimate album, demos start showing up on local radio.

Through a mutual acquaintance, Rob meets London/Los Angeles producer/engineer Dave Hillis (James Blunt, Blind Melon, Afghan Whigs, Dinosaur Jr). Dave takes the band under his wing and begins working with them on an actual studio album. About this time, Mike relinquishes his bass duties to start a business, and shortly after that, Erik turns his focus to family life (more drummers with beautiful babies). The lineup takes a new, more established direction with the addition of bassplayer Doran Bastin and drummer Mat Mathews (longtime bandmates and rhythm section from former Beggar's Banquet/Sub Pop recording artists Swell).

The band gets on an airplane and flies to Merseyside, England in 2006 to record their debut album. They live together for 8 days in a tiny studio overlooking North Wales, creating blessed new aural toddlers to share with the world. Pianos, a Mellotron, ‘50s Vox and Fender amps, the same mixing boards used by The Who and Supertramp, all get twiddled with until the boys are sated. (Plenty of Vodka bottles, Guinness pints, and Whiskey shots got tampered with as well.)

New West Motels returns to the States in a happy haze. Behind the strength of two early mixes (“Runaway With Me” and “Dumb”) they currently are begging for label support, small loans, various car repairs, seeking a lost digital camera with incriminating pictures (plus stardom, loads of free drink tickets, that kind of thing– did we mention stardom?).


Currently finishing work on debut album, titled Wow & Flutter - pre-release singles "Runaway With Me", "Take the Sleeper" and "Dumb" have been featured on local radio, as well as:

Three Imaginary Girls & KEXP (and their podcasts)
Seattle Power Pop podcast
TalkieWalkie podcast
The King's Bizarre podcast
"Dumb" used by Broken Heart Robot as official song
"Dumb" song of the week at Seattle Power Pop
"Runaway With Me" featured song on The Car Cast

Set List

7-8 songs on a typical 3 band bill... We usually throw in an esoteric cover or two (The Beach Boys' "Don't Worry, Baby", The Motels "Total Control", Guided By Voices "As We Go Up, We Go Down", etc.)