Indie groups Hotel Fiction and Trash Panda tag-teamed sets on Aug. 26 at Proud Larry’s.
Hotel Fiction, an indie-rock duo from Athens, Ga., has played shows with artists such as Flipturn, Adam Melchor, Beach Fossils, The Brook & The Bluff and more. The duo, Jade Long and Jessica “Jess” Thompson, turned heads with their debut album, “Soft Focus.” After graduating from college in May 2021, the pair began playing shows across the country.
“The best part about touring is being able to create music with our band every night and connect with our band and with the audience,” Thompson said. “Lately, it’s been really fun to challenge ourselves to keep making our set better and keep making our show different and exciting because we’ve been touring for a while.”
Hotel Fiction has played in Oxford before as an opener to the band “Flipturn.” The duo shared their excitement as they returned.
“Oxford is a very iconic college town and the energy is really exciting and cool,” Thompson said. “We love coming back here.”
Thompson gave a few words of advice to students interested in pursuing a career in music.
“You’re gonna be starting from a place where you want to get better, and the only way to get better is to put yourself out there when you’re not where you want to be,” Thompson said. “So, don’t be afraid to do that. Be yourself. Don’t compare yourself to other musicians.”
Before the show, fans of these two artists expressed their excitement for the upcoming show.
The unique performance style allows fans to experience their music in a new light from concert to concert.
“What’s bringing me back a second time is their performance style. Hotel Fiction takes their original tracks a step further by stretching a four-minute long song into nine minutes of breathtaking symphony,” junior art major James Douglas said.
Hotel Fiction’s ability to connect with fans through their music creates a sense of comfort and nostalgia.
“Their music feels heartfelt and nostalgic, like a coffee shop’s background music during your first date in high school, or like the distinct smell of your father’s favorite sweatshirt that you stole for college,” Douglas said. “Their music is a balanced mix of upbeat melodies and introspective ballads, and I believe that their ability to create emotional connections through their work is what makes them such amazing performers.”
The show started with local Oxford band UNI. The trio put on an electric set that consisted of songs such as “Sad Disco” by Flipturn.
Trash Panda, the duo-turned-trio, was started by songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Taylor. Although the band members consider themselves “post-genera,” Trash Panda’s music resembles genres like neo-psychedelia, soul, indie rock and pop. The band’s sophomore album, “Pandamonium!,” was released following a four-year hiatus in which members pursued other projects.
The show consisted of a high-energy set in which Trash Panda played everything from their classic hit “Atlanta Girls” to new songs like “En La Selva,” which is set to come out Sept. 8. The band is also set to release a “Jam in the Van” session Sept. 1. Trash Panda ended their set with a Deftones-esc metal outro.
Hotel Fiction put on an explosive set, performing songs such as “Athens GA” and “Allure” from their EP, “Enjoy your stay” along with classics like “Out of My Head.”