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Sound of the City: Hotel Mira | Stir Vancouver

SPONSORED POST BY THE CITY OF VANCOUVER

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SOUND OF THE CITY is a chance to discover and explore Vancouver’s incredible and diverse music scene created in partnership by the City of Vancouver and Stir.

We’ll hear from different local artists or acts—what’s in heavy rotation on their playlist as well as what’s happening in their world amid COVID-19. It’s time to crank the volume on the amazing music that’s all around us, right in our own backyard.

Sound of the City is a way to celebrate local talent, highlight BIPOC and underrepresented artists, and connect with creatives and each other.

Hotel Mira

FOUNDED BY VOCALIST Charlie Kerr, Hotel Mira has taken the sound out of the garage into a considerably lusher landscape.

Joining Kerr are Mike Noble (bass), Colton Lauro (guitar), Clark Grieve (keys), and Cole George (drums).

In recent months, Hotel Mira has been working with Grammy-award winning producer Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Arkells), where Kerr directed his creative energy toward writing sharper hooks and more memorable melodies. The results—as heard on charged-up numbers like “The Eyes on You”—are songs that boast anthemic, soaring choruses while sacrificing none of their sheer rock ‘n’ roll energy.

The sound showcased by Hotel Mira is wrapped up in a polished, pungent yet untethered and cracked aesthetic.

Listen to Hotel Mira’s Sound of the City playlist.

Listen to Hotel Mira’s “Better On Your Own” on the Stir Player.

Hotel Mira’s Playlist

How are you feeling about life right now?

Charlie: I’m feeling a lot of things these days but mostly grateful. I had a family member have some health scares this year and it made it real to me how temporary all of this is, and strangely that made me feel excited to be alive, even under bizarre and unfortunate circumstances.

Mike: I guess I’d say cautiously optimistic?  Everyone has been experiencing a very similar year so I don’t think I need to dive into how that’s been going, but things slowly but surely seem to be turning around, and that’s giving me a bit of hope.

What did you have planned this year, and how has the pandemic changed those plans?

Charlie: We had a few tours and some really amazing shows that went up in flames, which was frustrating. But overall, I am just grateful for my health in all this. Things could be a lot worse.

Mike:Well, our album Perfectionism dropped exactly one month before lockdown, so needless to say we had a very big year planned. I’m very grateful for all the success we’ve had at radio in 2020, but it’s hard to not think about what this year could have been for us.

What, or who, do you miss most about pre-pandemic life? 

Charlie: I mostly miss playing live in packed rooms and seeing bands and going to the movies, that kinda thing. Also travelling. It’s weird, I don’t really like crowds unless they are all facing the same direction and I am their entertainment, I guess.

Mike:Definitely touring, and just travel in general. I was lucky enough to sneak in a backpacking trip to Japan in January, and that feels like six lifetimes ago now.

What gives you solace and comfort?

Charlie: Music, books, good conversation, and movies.

Mike: I live with my partner so that’s always a very comforting thing. We also just got a new puppy so that’s keeping a lot of my time occupied. Other than that, I’ve been playing an arguably unhealthy amount of video games, which, in a roundabout way, is very comforting. I also co-host a video games/anime/pro-wrestling nerd podcast, so check out Where The Big Boys Game wherever you listen to podcasts!

What song or album has been in your heavy rotation and why?

Charlie: Albums in my rotation are Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers (I am basically in love with her at this point). Also, in my rotation, Elton John’s Greatest Hits. I got my brother a karaoke machine for his birthday and it reminded me how many Elton songs I just fucking love.

Mike: As of this specific day, I’ve been listening to Louise Burns’ 2019 album Portraits a ton. In general recently, The Ends by the OBMGs and Shore by Fleet Foxes are in my heavy rotation

Who is your favourite Vancouver musician or artist? What about them inspires you?

Charlie: I can’t give a definitive answer to this question. Too many special and talented folks. The scene is alive with the sound of music.

Mike: This is a loaded question and I will absolutely give a canned answer and just say that all the artists in the playlist, and many more are insanely inspirational. I’d reluctantly consider myself a veteran of the Vancouver indie-rock scene at this point, and it’s hard to put into words the creativity, inspiration, and incredible music that has come of this city in the past 10-plus years.

If you could change one thing about Vancouver, what would it be?

Charlie: I wish its citizens and government would be more compassionate to the at-risk populations. It would be amazing if it became a city where we championed each other more often.

Mike: Other than the obvious answers that I’m sure anyone with access to local news and a social conscious knows, something that I care about dearly is that there is a severe lack of music venues for emerging artists, and this pandemic has not made that situation any better. There is nothing that kills a scene more than 100-cap rooms like the Media Club turning into something like a Browns.

Who is your dream collaborator?

Charlie: My dream collaborator is a tough question but I feel like we would make something really cool if we ever got in a room to write with Phoebe Bridgers or Pharrell Williams

Mike: Another toughie. Off the top I’d think any collaboration with a musical hero, Brandon Flowers, Win Butler, Justin Vernon, etc. would be unbelievable. My music production nerd-self would pick Justin Meldal-Johnsen, who is responsible for producing some of my favourite records, and most importantly, he totally shreds on bass.

If you could pick someone to make a playlist for you, who would it be?

Charlie: Tyler the Creator has Nardwuar-level expertise in all things music. I would wanna hear his playlist

Mike: Zach Gray from The Zolas, but he can only pick songs from musicals. He knows why.