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Listen: London’s Hotel Lux Quickly Follow Up Debut Album with Lost Live Favourite ‘Vice’

Before the pandemic, back when Hotel Lux were breaking out, they were acutely self-aware of what they were releasing into the world. They referenced early fan-favourite, “English Disease”, on the subsequent single, “Tabloid Newspaper”: We never really sat at the bar quoting Danny Dyer, drinking Stella Artois.” It felt like they were grasping for control of the public perception of them.

During this time, despite the track “Vice”, being a staple of their live set from the beginning, it was never released. As the band say with its release now “we didn’t feel it quite sat with what we were trying to do with previous releases.” Perhaps down to the way frontman Lewis Duffin showcases his insecurities so visibly as he sings: “Sucking upon the soul of my vices, I felt like I’m having a crisis.” It didn’t fit the swagger of their early releases.

For those of us that fell in love with the band from their live show, ‘Vice’ showcased the band as a whole. So, before it was released, it always felt like a gaping hole in their back catalogue. A fan-favourite never to see the light of day. When their excellent debut album, ‘Hands Across The Creek’, was released without it, we thought it  may forever be a live show rarity. 

Which is why it is such an exciting prospect to have the track finally out in the world.

The now standalone single feels like a marker of the broad maturity and confidence they’ve developed. The perfect combination of their early bravado and energy, mixed with the nuance and sensitivity they’ve cultivated of late. Duffin’s vocal take and the fuller, reworked sound cement this. With “Vice”, Hotel Lux have here hammered a rock solid foundation into the ground for them to go forth and build from.

Hotel Lux’s debut album ‘Hands Across The Creek‘ is out now vis State 51.

Photo by Franck Alix

Issue Forty-Four of So Young is out now. Grab a copy in print here or read the digital edition below.