In calling their first single ‘Envoi’, Hotel Lux have uprooted the meaning of the word as we know it. They’ve created a song that clashes with its own definition, but this is more than just smart-ass word-play or a cheeky bit of foreplay for the listener, it does more than just clash, it goes to all out war with it. Our first whiff of Hotel Lux reeks of repetition and is damp with paradox and that ticking time bomb of a bass line is like nerve gas, it seeps into our ears and numbs the senses. And we are a nation numb. Singer Lewis Duffin’s voice, choked with Britishness like there are two fingers rammed down his throat, regurgitates the cries of this disillusioned Island. The most important thing about this song though, and about this band, is that it isn’t at all stylised; politics isn’t turned into a pantomime, the plight of the working class isn’t just subject matter, a topic of dinner-time conversation for us seasoned liberals to get a little bit naughty with, it comes from a real and raw place. ‘You’ve ruined his life!’ That is our envoi. That is the inconclusive conclusion we get. We’re all in this rat race, going over the same trails decade after decade, time is moving forward but ideologically we are going back on ourselves. Put like that it’s easy to see how we can romanticise from the other side of it but Hotel Lux are putting an end to the commodification of political struggle. And as the song pulsates and throbs, getting bigger, angrier and more desperate, our promised climax isn’t a climax at all but another cycle of static desolate moans… A record not broken but shot to bits and we are right back to where we started.
‘Envoi’ is released as part of the ‘Introduces’ series from RIP Records, an idea that will give new bands and artists a chance to release their first tracks with the bang they deserve. You’ll be able to find these tracks on a 12″ compilation at the end of the year and the end of what we can assume is the first of many series. Keep your eyes peeled for that.