Profile: The Motifs

It's taken a while for me to write about The Motifs because I've been trying to find words to do them justice! I still haven't got there, but I think it's time to publish something about this special little band. The group come from Melbourne, Australia, and are based around vocalist Alexis Hall, who actually started The Motifs as a solo project back in 2003. Over a series of releases in the 00s, The Motifs defined a sound that is about as close to 'perfect' as I can imagine. A combination of acoustic guitars, cheap Casio keyboards, drum machines, handclaps and shakers makes for the exquisitely warm instrumental base on top of which Alexis's lush vocals sit (although 'sit' may not be the best choice of words, as every component of the music feels so entwined and compatible). Alexis simply has one of the most gorgeous voices I've ever heard - it's hushed, breathy and utterly enchanting. And yet, this isn't a band that focuses on the quality of a voice, or the aesthetic of the its 'sound'. Nope, the lyrics are strong - beautiful, often melancholy - and the instrumental arrangements are far more sophisticated than one may imagine. No one area of The Motifs is stronger than the next, they're a band that's mastered a sound with nothing amiss. This is indie pop at its finest, for fans of Architecture In Helsinki, Camera Obscure, Mutual Benefit, Tenniscoats. If you'd like to hear more, I'd say their sound comes together best on tracks like Night Sky, Envelopes, Tell Me More and Yours & Mine (which I've posted above) - all stunning short pop songs; sweet, infectious and fun.

Label: Knock Yr Socks Off / Music Is My Girlfriend /  Cosy Recordings
Genre: Indie Pop, Twee Pop, Folk, Electronica

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