The collaborative nature of Portland is a beautiful thing, and our music scene is one that frequently offers up surprises between new and recognizable names from all sonic corners. The latest maestro to spearhead such a project is Jesse Bettis of the five-piece pop band New Move and he’s calling it Paradise Hotel. A 13-track compilation due out via Tender Loving Empire on July 26, it’s a delightful blend of unreleased sounds from some of our city's best—including Y La Bamba, Tribe Mars, Minden, Aan, Night Heron, Melt, DAN DAN, The Domestics’ Michael Finn, and Ritchie Young of Loch Lomond.
Paradise Hotel is “two years in the making,” Bettis says, and it also “marks the inauguration of New Move Studios,” run out of Bettis’ inner SE Portland home where the band rehearses and records. With the comp’s songs recorded there as well as at the nearby Gold Brick Studios, manned by Cameron Spies (Radiation City, Night Heron), Paradise Hotel displays the vibrancy of our local “music community and its amazing creativity,” Bettis says, “and it represents just the beginning of a new, exciting body of work to come out of New Move Studios,” which’ll include an ongoing single series starting this fall that will also be accompanied by videos and plenty of other fun treats. “Everybody needs a community, and the more you can connect with the people around you, the better off everyone is.”
You can thank an unwitting Boone Howard for unintentionally planting the original “seeds for writing and producing Paradise Hotel” after Bettis heard a demo of his “Limit of Love.”
“I wrote ‘Limit of Love’ as a way to sort through a quick marriage and divorce I had in 2016,” Howard tells. “For the choruses, I pulled the lyrics from actual things my ex-wife and I said to each other. I'll leave it to the listener to guess who delivered the most callous lines. The song is basically about how relationships are built on compromise and when two uncompromising people start one, it is by nature doomed. The limit of love is just.”
He’d never heard James Blake’s “Limit To Your Love” while writing his song, but “I've heard it since and instantly thought: ‘Goddamnit someone has already written this!’ It's not quite a coincidence. I'm guessing a lot of folks have felt this specific type of pain.”
Bettis first heard the song while driving home from Treefort Music Fest in 2017. “He had the idea for the compilation brewing and I think ‘Limit of Love’ was the first song recorded for it,” Howard says. Between drums provided by Eric Ambrosius and Howard on Wurlitzer and vocals, “The song was finished in pieces with my bandmates Ryan Neighbors (keys), Travis Leipzig (bass), and Casey Burge (guitar) coming in to add their parts. Jesse played on it too.”
Then the song sat around “for like two years,” Howard says. “I was kind of fighting Jesse about it because I just wanted it to be released. The subject matter was pretty timely and specific and I wanted it out there, resolved and forgotten as quickly as possible.” But it was the germinating sprout for Paradise Hotel and, “Looking back, I see how invested he was in the project as a whole and I appreciate his fight to keep the song on the compilation and not give in to my impatience.”
“The music video was filmed in January 2019 when I was home in Talkeetna, Ala.,” Howard tells. “I was working through the eventual end of another relationship and although the song was old at that point, it didn't seem off. I basically just sang the song in zero-degree weather about 100 times.”