Journey’s End Motel is a lovely, painful, and transcendent piece of work. When I first envisioned what this record label would be like, I saw Hello America populated by differing and assorted forms and versions of this very album. It’s the ideal, the new gold-standard of What Makes a Good Talking Record and/or Audio Book. (And please don’t call it “spoken word.” That’s an awful, stupid phrase that should be retired immediately. This is something else, something better.)
Drifting soft over gorgeous, spiraling drones played by Michael Alan Goldberg, Nicole Morning tells us about life in America—her life, but also our life in a way. Journey’s End Motel is love and satisfaction, comfort, sadness, wishes, hard truth, sex, grief, invocations, joy, sweetness, a road story and a tale of ache. Michael’s drones and noise ask you to listen over headphones in order to catch every rise, sigh, and fall; Nicole’s voice demands you lean closer, pay attention. You don’t want to miss any of this.
Together, Nicole and Michael could turn their names into “Golden Morning” if they wanted to start a band, and I say this in a very sincere way. I feel like they should start many bands, do many records, maybe open a restaurant together, a library, a flower shop, a salon in the Parisian sense. They work well together is the point, and Journey’s End Motel is a special and original thing. As the text that Nicole wrote for the back of this tape’s j-card reads, “Hey Sweetheart. You never been on this kind of ride. Dreamscape, hellscape, Last stop: paradise. Come on inside.” Listen to her. Do that. This is a place you want to go. -Adam Gnade, 4/28/22