The Chicago Vibe


Girls and Charms - A Chat With August Hotel

K.P. Peters | October 2017

A few weeks ago, I talked with Ryan Lammers, Cale Singleton and Dean Sinclair, 3/5 of August Hotel, about their recent release “Charms.” While they loosely described it as “a concept album about girls,” or “the best acid jazz album of 2017” I think of it as a collection of synth pop hits waiting to be discovered.

To start, Ryan discussed the original version of “Crystalize.” This track has gone through a lot of changes. “We felt like it could be better,” the guitarist stated in reference to the original version. “It was okay, but we felt we could do more with it. We liked what we had but we wanted to give it something extra. We took it back to practice and messed around with it.” Now with a new chorus and more synth, the band picked this dance tune to close the EP.

Dean also told the story of his date with a camp counselor. On this date he asked her, “what’s the craziest thing a child has ever said to you?” The answer was the title to the bands hit song “Can I be in Love With You?” This question sparked a lot of ideas in the drummer.

“The intro is when you first meet that person, in my case a party in my living room. The first verse is almost being upset with yourself for living 20-something years and just meeting them. You are jealous of them having memories before you. They have all these memories and stories that I’m not able to be a part of. It’s this weird bitterness toward that.”


While they turned down dating a fan, the band said if asked “can I be in love with you?” the answer would be yes. “If love means hanging out with us and having a good time at our show it’s more than encouraged.”

To end the interview, I asked the band to discuss the charms of each other. They went around talking about the best qualities of each band member.

Cale started us off with a talk about Dean. “He’s got a nice beard. Dean is so funny he has altered my speech pattern. He’s made me stupider, haha.”

Dean said “Ryan has the best work ethic out of all of us. He provides the cow bones of the glue that keeps this band together. It’s his vision that keeps us on track and gives us something to aspire to.”

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Ryan comment on Cale, “He’s got an extremely large knowledge of random things. This makes him an entertaining person to be around. You learn stuff from him. He’s got a real dedication and passion for what he does.”

On Craig, the keyboardist, the band described him as “very quiet. But, when he wants to make a joke it’s something that will make the entire room cry laughing. The timing, what he says and how he says it; it’s just perfect.”

“Joe has a beautiful heart. Just being around him makes you reanalyze your outlook. He makes me want to be a better person,” said Dean.

After getting sentimental about the rest of the band, I suggested they rethink Dean. He’s got more great qualities than just his facial hair. “He’s so much more than just a drummer,” added Ryan. “He writes a bunch of our favorite songs to play. Everything he brings to us is so good. His ear for melody and talent as a musician is just incredible.”

Each of these guys brings something different to the band. Combined, they make August Hotel the success that it is. Check out “Charms” and get down to this local bands indie-pop hits

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