Hotel Key

Album: Happy Endings (2017)
Charted: 48

Songfacts®:

  • "Hotel Key" finds two people spending the night together in a hotel room. Afterwards, the girl decides to keep a souvenir from their encounter.

    She kept the hotel key
    Slipped it in her purse
    I guess it makes her think of me
    And that night, we left our hearts on our sleeves and the clothes all over the floor
    We both know we can't open the door
    She kept the hotel key


    The song was co-written by band members Matthew Ramsey and Trevor Rosen alongside Josh Osborne. Ramsey said: "You know, we travel a lot. Got hotel keys in our pockets all the time and one fell out of my pocket. And, you know, just wrote down that title and then brought that thing into a write one day and Trevor said his wife actually does keep hotel keys. It just felt like it would be a fun story to tell."
  • Directed by Jim Wright ("Endless Summer," "She Ain't In It") the song's music video follows one young couple spending a romantic night in a hotel room. The exterior shots were filmed at a motel in Murfreesboro, Tennessee which is about 30 minutes outside of Nashville. Wright told MVD Base the clip was conceived after he got a call from Sony Nashville.

    "With everything going on at the time with the #MeToo movement, I was looking to send a small message of female empowerment," he explained. "The idea was to put a twist on the classic "rock star/groupie" cliché with a little comedy thrown in."
  • Wright used local actors then weaved in cameo appearances from the band members to round the story - Matthew Ramsey plays the knowing but nosy front-desk clerk. The director explained his "intention was to create a little movie."
  • Matthew Ramsey admitted to Hits Daily Double that "Hotel Key" is "definitely a sex song." He explained: "It's about a one-night stand. But the truth is, it could just be one night where you get crazy, and it'll never be like that again. You got drunk together, laughed together, talked and talked together, and you were all there was in the world."

    "Sure, you had sex together," Ramsey added, "and it was this amazing thing. But there's so much more to it than just the sex. It was everything. That line, 'We danced by the TV we never turned on' - that line is the whole song."
  • Some fans and critics believe the line, "We talked about Austin and how she'd get back there someday," could be an intentional or subconscious reference to Blake Shelton's debut single "Austin."

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