Here’s Hotel Aporia, the latest album from Berlin-based New Zealand vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Aporia (Mitchell O’Sullivan) and his many collaborators. Pitched as taking place within the projected setting of a tropical beachfront hotel, Hotel Aporia sees O’Sullivan and his friends taking cues from exotica, library music, fantasy pop, old Hollywood soundtracks and the mystery of David Lynch’s film catalogue while exploring how to locate their South Pacific identities within a global landscape.
Given the A.O.R and soft-rock/yacht-rock tendencies that permeate the record, it’s very easy to, in a modern context, evoke the likes of Connan Mockasin, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and even Donnie & Joe Emerson as reference points, but that’s really only half the story. By the time you’ve shimmied through a collection of songs with titles such as ‘South Seas Beijing’, ‘Moon Taxi’, ‘Cloud Lodge’ and ‘Moog In Cairo’, it becomes pretty clear that as well as having a strong sense of slanted, melodic pop songwriting, O’Sullivan has really done his listening and practice work around the exotica, library music (and even Fourth World) side of things.
When you get to the core of it, Hotel Aporia is the kind of record that is best left to creep up on you, much like the waves gently lapping against the shore. Give it space to open up, and you’ll be rewarded with an embarrassment of riches – all the melody, harmony, grooves, and environmental ambience you could hope for; and more.
You can listen to some songs from Hotel Aporia above.
Hotel Aporia is out now through Cosmic Compositions and Fantasy Fiction in 12″ vinyl and digital formats (order here)