Daniel Blue started Motopony when he picked up a broken guitar, and knowing nothing about music, strummed his first song in a flash of inspiration. Since then, Blue’s deft folk melodies have been the underpinnings of Motopony as it has evolved from an indie-rock band with future-pop production, to one reaching back to rock’s golden era.
In 2011, the band released Motopony with founding member, Buddy Ross, a local hip-hop producer that gave Blue’s guitar work a modern sheen. It was a unique collaboration that cracked the rotation at KCRW, the holy grail for up-and-coming bands.
But in 2014, Ross quit the band. Blue reloaded with a group of top-shelf musicians, including guitarist and singer Mike Notter, keyboardist Andrew Butler, guitarist Nate Daly, bass player Terry Mattson, and original drummer Forrest Mauvais. The group released a 5-song EP that announced a revitalized rock band with a new direction and a new sense of collaboration. Idle Beauty was a summary of where the band had been and a map of where it was going.
It was a preview of 2016’s Welcome You, an enveloping, assured masterpiece. Rooted in blues and soul, it speaks the language of rock and roll history, and earns a place among the most original contemporary releases. Hammond organs wail; buzzed Laurel Canyon guitars hang in the air; walls of vocal harmony swell and fill every corner of sonic space. Aided by master producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Heartless Bastards. Trail of Dead) and Guy Massey (Radiohead, Spritualized, The Libertines), Welcome You is a statement of a band that has finally arrived.