Review: Hotel Fiction: “Daydrifter”

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Athens-based duo Hotel Fiction released their latest single ‘Daydrifter’ last Friday. Like every other song in their catalog, this one was also produced by Tommy Trautwein of We Bought a Zoo Records. Best friends Jade Long and Jessica Thompson are determined to bring a fresh sound to the table with every new track they put out; “Daydrifter” is no exception. 

The beginning of “Daydrifter” starts off with bird songs, which was coincidentally–or maybe intentionally?– how their last single “Think Twice” ended. The song instantly sounds like a campfire tune from the bright strum of the guitar to the smooth rhymes of each phrase. Although sonically different than their previous singles, Daydrifter returns to the psychedelic lyrics and imagery that made listeners fall in love with Jade and Jessica in the first place. In their first single, “Astronaut Kids,” Hotel Fiction wanted urgently to escape the growing pains of being 20 by becoming “an astronaut who sails the sea.” And now, two years later, things have come (almost) full. As shapeshifters in “Daydrifter,” the two pronounce that they are ‘sun sailors,’ watching the sky burn. In a similar vein, Hotel Fiction desired to go to the moon and take off into the sky in “Astronaut Kids.” Now, they are still far off in the atmosphere but in a more self-assured tone. This time they are the moon craters, watching the earth turn. 

The pair (or rather the trio because I have a hunch that Tommy frequently plays an important role here) have previously shown just how much they enjoy changing their sound midway through a song, either by adding something new or by taking something away. For example, in “Think Twice,” when the first segment of the song ends, they add in a minute and half long instrumental that crescendos and then floats back down. Or like in “Ghost Train,” during the bridge, when the strings drop away momentarily and all you hear is piano chords, an echoey harmony, and Jade’s vocals with a new vocal effect. And on and on… A similar shift is seen in this song. The second half adds in dreamy slides, a little twinkle in the background, and even a whole new narrative in the lyrics. Just like previous songs, the subtle tone change here works beautifully, enough to make a listener want to keep listening (and coming back). 

Hotel Fiction Fall Tour 2021 dates and locations. Poster made by Jade Ireland Long.

Hotel Fiction’s album comes out next month. And maybe you can catch them in your city during their Fall 2021 tour. “Daydrifter” is available to stream on all platforms.      

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