KINO MOTEL is the (currently) Melbourne-based uniting of kindred global and musical explorers Ed Fraser and Rosa Mercedes.
They met in a Berlin commune, having both served time in critically acclaimed cult bands: he in the steely, dark grind of Heads; she with out-folker Josephine Foster. Once they’d met and pooled common purpose, they got the hell out of Dodge and travelled east.
Following a basement karaoke session somewhere in Vietnam in 2019, Ed and Rosa decided to form a band; Kino Motel is named for the bar in which it was conceived.
Today they’re debuting the video for their first offering to the public, “Waves”. Take a listen below. It’s a dusty, cinematic, desert-rock odyssey, drawing aesthetically on the great darkly romantic boy-girl partnerships of our times: Serge and Jane; Nancy and Lee; Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell.
That guitar twangs with all the beguiling simmer of the best Telecasters; Ed’s voice brings the gravel; the strings pitch and slide, taking your heart with them as is their wont.
“Waves” was written over the course of an intense week in a cheap Bangkok hotel, bringing to mind a sweat-beaded Charlie Sheen at the start of Apocalypse Now. They sing of being trapped, unable to escape, and the need to find a different way out. They term themselves ‘grit pop’.
The kung fu-inspired video for “Waves” is just the opening chapter in the Kino Motel fimic manifesto. They promise us that “having shot ”Waves’ in Thailand, the second single takes us to Vietnam, the third to Australia, with more to come.”