Album Review: Soft Focus by Hotel Fiction
We Bought a Zoo Records
Soft Focus is our first glimpse at all the potential the band Hotel Fiction offers to bring to the music industry. With the harmonies brought by Jade Long and Jessica Thompson’s voices, Soft Focus places listeners in a place of serenity with catchy hooks, lively piano melodies and dreamy guitar riffs, creating a cohesive album with strong storylines relatable to their own age group.
As young people of today, Hotel Fiction knows exactly what it’s like to grow up in a time of absolute chaos and watch as your world gives out from under you. The album’s closing songs “Soft Focus” and “17” say exactly this by writing into words the feeling of last moments where you got to be a kid with no responsibilities, with the titular track even saying “let’s go back to the days where we were content” offering the message that growing up and change isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Hotel Fiction offers up multiple sides of their sound on Soft Focus. Songs like “Daydrifter” and “Golden Days” show the sun-kissed side of the group while “Ghost Train” and “Steady” are melancholy but still rich and “Think Twice” gives voice to their passion for having fun within their music by using a synth. Normally this can be catastrophic, on Soft Focus it might be the strongest point as it shows Hotel Fiction doesn’t just have one sound.
All in all, Hotel Fiction has created the ideal album for listeners to match up to their own picturesque coming-of-age story. This album is a true voice for exploring yourself through music and seeing the world through all lenses of focus.
— Abbie Riglin