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‘August Hotel’ per­forms new single ‘Dis­aster and Delight at sold-out show in Chicago.
Courtesy | Kaitlyn Johnston

They hadn’t played live in six months and they were nervous for their sold-out show. ‘Did they still know how to do this?’ the members of August Hotel asked them­selves. This would be the first time the band would play their newest single, “Dis­aster and Delight,” live. Their fears would soon fade as the night went on. 

“There was a much bigger crowd response and energy,” gui­tarist Ryan Lammer said. “We ended up closing the set with the song. It ended up being this really fun, ener­getic way of ending our part of the night.” 

August Hotel is a Chicago-based rock band whose drummer is Dean Sin­clair, a 2018 graduate of Hillsdale College. 

The band had pre­vi­ously released a self-recorded EP in 2017 and plans to release a second in the spring of this year. Their newest single, “Dis­aster and Delight” was the first to tease their new album. 

“It was one that people always liked when we played it live. We would get a lot of people asking when we would release it,” Lammer said. “We could see a lot of that paying off last night now that people have the version they can listen to and are now able to latch on to that song on a recording.” 

According to former Col­legian reporter Mark Naida, August Hotel has played at Hillsdale five times: the No Date Dance (spon­sored by A Few Good Men), Battle of the Bands, Welcome Party in 2015, Broad Street Market in 2016, and Womb­stock in 2017.

Senior, and fellow musician Carson Waites, was part of the same fra­ternity, Phi Mu Alpha, with Sin­clair. Though Sin­clair has grad­uated, his musical influence still reaches back to the Dale, according to Waites. 

“The new single has Dean’s fin­ger­prints all over it. I hear COIN and St. Lucia but imposed in his slightly abstract and decep­tively emo­tional lyrics. It’s infec­tious; one listen and you’ll be singing about “Chicago fire” all day,” Waites said. “I think the best thing I could say about it is that it sounds like a song everyone would be singing in the Womb’s upstairs sometime in December of 2017. Dean always led the charge then and he still does now, he just does it from Chicago.”

Sin­clair wrote the lyrics to the song in January of 2017 after a college breakup. Rather than it being a crooner, Sin­clair wrote the lyrics feeling hopeful. 

“The song was not used as a take me back kind of thing,” he said. “Two people can some­times have a bad expe­rience. It doesn’t mean it has to remain like that. A lot of the song is hopeful. Some of the lines might come out as sassy. I don’t deny it. But overall it’s hopeful.” 

Sin­clair describes the song as a “good sunshine‑y track.” 

“Hope­fully, it comes out as hopeful. You can listen to it driving with the windows down. It’s a feel-good song. I hope that it’s a feel-good song because it made me feel good after writing it. I felt better,” he said. 

Writing the lyrics did not take long for Sin­clair since he described it as “one of those songs I just had to sit down and finish on the spot.”