Hospitality produced one of the best, if not the best debut album, we’ve heard in recent years back in 2012. The Brooklyn trio’s self titled release on Fire Records was a masterclass in indie music songwriting, with singer Amber Papini’s delivery and lyrics perfectly encapsulating the thoughts of young urbanites trapped in boring office jobs and dreaming of a better life.
But what also marked them out was that they had enough savvyness to appeal to a far wider audience than the likes of our little indie music blog. No less than Rolling Stone placed the album in their top 50 of that year.
We are happy to report that critical acclaim coupled with the chance to step out of their boring office jobs and spend more time on their music hasn’t dampened their appeal. This second album is as stunning as their debut and shows a band progressing nicely, with guitars and synths powering them on together with clear influences from the 1970s world of progressive rock. More importantly though they still have some darn good tunes too.
Considering they have been knocking around since 2007 its no wonder they emerged in 2012 seemingly fully formed and were ready and able to produce a second great record.
Opener Nightingale sets the tone of the album well. Papini’s vocals over a crashing indie pop intro, then a 70s rock guitar riff, then slow again. Its like the Pixies meets King Crimson, the latter act being cited as a key influence on this album.
Papini’s voice sounds even better here on this album too, with a mix of croaky vulnerability and power, reminiscent of The Cardigans Nina Persson.
There’s some top singles to be harvested from this album as well. Miss Your Bones showcases some of the Wire and Gang of Four influences of the band and is a real treat with its choppy chords. They do slowies too. Sullivan being the pick of these.
With this strong release and a European tour being planned for 2014 we feel confident that they have a justified top billing in our Ones To Watch For 2014 feature.
by Joe Lepper
Trouble is released on Fire Records on 27 January.