During his days in Columbus, Kelly Werner made waves as the musical yin to Brian Brown's lyrical yang in the excellent hip-hop duo The Lab Rats. After that group split up, Werner began writing crisp, modern pop songs under the name Hotel Eden. His first single, the superb "Tell Me Where You've Been," was the lead-off track on Alive's 2009 Columbus music compilation. After hinting about a longing for the West Coast in a 2009 interview, Werner moved out there and has continued to write and record as Hotel Eden.
Which brings us to "I Saw You At the Laundromat," a characteristic blend of skippy rhythms and melancholy sentiment that shows Werner's touch is as sharp as ever. Reynier Molenaa's video is simple and straightforward but also goofy and fun. It's worth a spin.
Hotel Eden is performing around the Bay Area as a four-piece band these days, and a full-length album is coming later this year. No word yet on a return trip to Columbus, but we'll keep you posted.