Seemingly effortless pop cleverness.
On their debut album, Hospitality come across like an Americanized Camera Obscura: singer-songwriter Amber Papini has mastered Tracyanne Campbell's trademark commingling of wide-eyed, innocent-sounding vocals and wry, sardonic lyrics. There's also a healthy dash of Vampire Weekend's jittery energy, as well as a similar undercurrent of ironic detachment. Over the course of just under 33 minutes, Papini and her two bandmates run briskly through 10 instantly catchy songs that touch lightly on several generations' worth of pure-pop bliss without sounding beholden to any particular era. (Even its own: the album is blessedly free of the lo-fi distortion that's been a hallmark of much of the New York indie scene since 2008 or so.) From the coy girl-group charms of "Betty Wang" to the minimalist electronic pulse of "Julie" and the guitar-reverb wash of "Sleepover," Hospitality is a varied, engaging listen that repays repeat spins.
|Friends of Friends|