There aren’t many things you’d expect to come out of Spain; sweet red wine, Matadors and conquistadores and of course the Flamenco. What you wouldn’t expect is a Gospel inspired indie rock band with a Nigerian lead singer. Paradise Motel (or Motel Paradiso, not to be confused with the Australian band of the same name) is a new direction in Spain Basque region, traditionally associated with white-led Metalcore bands.
Nigerian born Spaniard Wekafore Jibril is Paradise Motel’s lead and songwriter, and together with Ruben Matoes and Sendoa Cardoso, he brings Negro Spirituals and classic sixties bop sounds to a new generation of listeners, following paths that black musicians have trod on their way to pop stardom for decades. Singers like Amy Winehouse and Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine have also grown a massive following from making choral style music accessible to pop audiences.
Their debut single “Holy Ghost” is heavily influenced by Gospel inspired music and it would be easy to pigeonhole the band as a gospel band but while Jibril’s music repeatedly references Christian iconography and imagery, the band asserts that they are an indie-rock band whose lyrics merely draw inspiration from personal struggles. Jibril’s voice reminds of Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, as he sings of despair and a pervasive darkness that he seeks escape from, a higher power to come change things. It’s definitely going on our playlist.
The band is releasing their debut EP, EgoSex, later in 2017.
Check out the music video here.
And a stellar acoustic version if that’s your thing.
‘Best New Music’ is a new column we will be publishing every Monday to bring you a review of our critics’ choice-pick.