The worldwide lockdowns enforced as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic has given many musicians time to be creative and allowed new artists time to emerge and showcase their talent. That said, the process of discovering unique new music to your taste can sometimes be difficult, however if you are lucky you may just unearth a few gems in the process. Homesick Hotel is one of those gems and is a new project by musician Jay Kerstens. Jay, who is also one half of electronic duo 'The Him' just today has released his debut single ‘All Love’ in which we are treated to a melodic fusion of electro pop and indie with slow floating synths and emotional vocals.
The ambient yet vibrant vibe of 'All Love' is particularly soothing and relevant for the current climate and we know we will be having this on repeat for quite some time.
Jay has stated that "The first single 'All Love' was written, recorded and produced by me in the studio in Amsterdam. While we were having crazy successes with The Him (touring all over the world, remixing some of the biggest artists and tens of millions of streams I at the same time felt a strong drive to also make more introspective acoustic/indie music. I wanted to develop my musical skills with new instruments like the guitar and my own voice.
'All Love' is about how the ups and downs of life and relationships can all be part of love. Love can have many dimensions and I feel in the current day and age people can forget that it's not just what it looks like on Instagram. Even if it's not always perfect it can still be a million times worth holding on to. It's taken me forever to finish this song. lol. Especially because it's so different than what I usually do."
We caught up with Jay and besides bonding over our shared love for Caribou we also wanted to find out how things started, how he has been surviving lockdown and what the future holds for Homesick Hotel.
Check out the debut single 'All Love' and the interview below.
Photography by Martin Sweers
Can you tell us a bit about Homesick Hotel? Where are you from and how and when did you start?
Homesick Hotel is me, Jay, and I'm from Amsterdam in The Netherlands. I started writing for HOHO in the last few years while I was also busy making music and touring as half of electronic music duo The Him. At first I was just writing songs for myself, I still am in a way I guess. But as I started having more songs ready I felt like they needed to be released into the world. Perhaps partly to create space for making new music.
How would you describe your sound to someone who hadn’t heard your music before?Indie and pop, acoustic combined with electronic. Straight from my heart and larger than the room.
Who would you say are your influences for your music?I'm influenced by so much, but definitely artists like Bon Iver, Tame Impala, Mumford and Sons, Coldplay and Caribou to name a few.
The music industry unfortunately seems to have been hit pretty hard from the Covid 19 pandemic. Festivals and gigs cancelled or postponed for quite some time. How have you found the lockdown and what are your thoughts for the future of the music industry?I feel relatively fortunate that a large part of my day to day is making music by myself. And that can still go on. But the fact that there are no shows now and in the foreseeable future is terrible. So many artists will be hurt by this. And so many music fans (myself included) can't experience the music in one of the major ways: in real life with other humans. I am worried that it might take a long time before we'll want to gather again with thousands of strangers in sweaty night clubs or big festivals. But in the end we'll get through this.
Whats next for Homesick Hotel? You working on an album or any projects?Yes! One of my life goals is to make an album, so that will happen. As for this year I will be releasing some singles first.
We get a feeling this is just the beginning for Jay and if this is a taste of things to come, we look forward to listening along on his journey.