L.A. Dream-Pop Outfit Alyeska Premiere Replacements-Inspired Track 'Motel State of Mind'

Katie Levine


The LA dream pop trio Alyeska is readying its debut EP Crush, a heavenly cluster of songs produced by John Agnello at New York’s legendary Magic Shop studio. On this New Music Friday, we venture out of lower Manhattan into the memories of frontwoman Alaska Reid, to bring you the group's latest single. 

"Motel State of Mind” is a swirling cyclone of drums and Reid’s feathery voice, jolted by an unexpected low-end of guitar fuzz. “My mom actually asked me if this song was about 'illicit behavio'” -- like ‘truckers, hookers and cooking meth,’” Reid tells Billboard. “I told her no -- I was just trying to rip off the Replacements.”

Alyeska’s latest was actually the final record recorded at the Magic Shop, capping off a lineage that recently included David Bowie’s Blackstar -- and, further back, LPs from the legendary NY likes of Lou Reed, Sonic Youth and Blondie -- before it was priced out of its SoHo home. Agnello, too, carries an impressive production résumé of indie rock heroes like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr. and Kurt Vile. But instead of paying homage, the final Magic Shop release pays it forward, giving life to Alyeska’s brand new dreamworld. 

Reid does allow: “Maybe a song about all those things [that my mom mentioned] would be more interesting than me incorporating the word ‘linoleum’ into the lyrics, and talking about someone who disappointed me.”

Give “Motel State of Mind” a spin below, and check out Alyeska’s previous offering, a childhood carnival reverie called “Tild-A-Whirl,” over at Stereogum