Migrant Motel are going nowhere fast in their entertainingly offbeat and supremely self-deprecating new single and video Shame — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The latest track from the international alt-pop duo of singer-guitarist David Stewart, Jr. and drummer Salvador “Chava” Ilizaliturri is a cleverly comedic chronicle of unfulfilled potential and quarter-life crisis:
“I’m feeling kinda sick, it’s getting hard to care
When every kid on TikTok is a millionaire
It’s gettin hard to breathe, I can’t find the air
Oh I don’t know what to do
Oh I got no one to blame
Oh ain’t it a shame, shame, shame, shame, shame.”
Voiced in a supple soulful falsetto, set to a head-bopping groove, fortified with glistening synths and funkified with a growling bassline, the seductive Shame proves once and for all that Zimmy was spot-on when he quipped ‘There’s no success like failure.’ Especially not for these guys.
“This is by far the most real, personal song we’ve ever put out,” Stewart says. “We wanted to express the frustration of not being where you want to be in your career with the line, ‘I’m a big rock star that nobody knows.’ Yet we are accepting our situation. There’s so much shame surrounding unrealized ambitions that expressing the frustrations we feel has been an extremely cathartic experience.”
And if the song doesn’t illustrate that clearly enough, the colourfully playful clip — which depicts the duo toiling away in a series of dead-end drudge gigs — hammers it home hilariously. “I directed the video and had a blast doing it,” Stewart enthuses. “We shot it around L.A. with my director of photography Victor Ingles, who is a master behind the camera. It was nerve-wracking to drive the car with a huge mounted camera on the hood. I think the camera rig was more expensive than the car. The last day of the shoot was the parking lot scene and it was amazing to see it all come together: The big lights and the crane shots, I felt like a little Steven Spielberg — it was awesome.”
Peruvian-American Stewart and Mexican native Ilizaliturri have been chasing the awesome since 2017, when they began making music and developing their sound while attending college in Boston. The fast friends with shared musical tastes quickly got busy, playing hundreds of shows on the East Coast before migrating west. In 2020 they hit Los Angeles, working their way down the Sunset Strip with stops at the Whiskey A Go Go, Viper Room, Roxy and Troubadour.
Although Chava has moved back to Mexico City, the duo continue to write and record remotely, and now function as a band with two scenes: Mexican and American. 2020 saw them play their first shows in the Mexican Republic, while 2021 took them to the main stage of Lollapalooza. After building a fan base in Latin America, they are setting their sights on the growing bilingual / bicultural youth movement in the United States, with new music and tours on tap for 2023.
Watch the video for Shame above, hear more from Migrant Motel below, and check in with them at their website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.