Hotel Leo, the synth-pop alias of Kansas City musician Stephen Roper, fuses dream pop, indie rock, and lo-fi bedroom production into chill, melodic, and introspective arrangements. When a relationship ends, you often spend the aftermath looking back at the myriad of ways things could have been different. This is the impetus behind the new track from Hotel Leo, “Heaven Knows.” The track comes off the EP Point in Time.
“It’s not always easy to recognize if a relationship is good or bad for you, especially when rays of love shine through the dark times,” Roper says. “The song is about seeing the end and accepting the loss of someone significant in your life. It’s about seeing both the good and the bad in all of it. When the person you’ve merged with goes away, a part of you dies too. How can you function without them? Would you recognize love if you saw it again?”
With a similar sound to synthpop acts like Fiction Factory, Nik Kershaw, Lightning Seeds and Stephen Duffy and more modern acts like Twin Shadow, the bittersweet gentle stylings are moody without succumbing to the morose. A lovely tune.
Point In Time explores loss, moving on, and the wild unknown. The record enlists both acoustic and electronic drums, analog synthesizers, and Roper’s keen sense of melody.
Stephen Roper entered the music scene as the drummer for Kansas City, MO sweethearts Jump Rope for Heart. He began producing and songwriting in groups like Reward Tree, Seaway in Typhoon, and Riddles, playing shows at the Middle of the Map fest, and opening for acts like The Raveonettes.
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Photo credit: Cameron Wiley