The Best Albums of 2014: #5 Hospitality – Trouble

Hospitality - Trouble cover

There’s times when I wonder if this might in fact be favorite record of the year. Amber Papini’s voice captures a condition that used to be described this way in the mid-90’s; The mundane, yet solitarily-significant happenings of the 20-something woman. This is alternative. It calls to mind the temporal voices of Juliana Hatfield, Hope Sandoval, Tanya Donnelly and Suzanne Vega. But Papini and Hospitality trade the post-grunge angst for a quaint and cute hipster-vibe and Papini’s delicate-cum-powerful articulation that makes you want to hold her hand while walking together through a summer field.

Hospitality’s debut album was filled with simple poppy jams like “Friends of Friends” and “Eighth Avenue” that were easy to adore. But Trouble is more ambitious in it’s production and instrumentation. On the album’s opening track “Nightingale,” Papini’s voice is layered over itself into the fierce hook. Spontaneous moments of excellent guitars are splashed into the track at different moments as we settle into Papini’s self-harmonies. “Going Out” creates a comfortable stillness that freezes time for a moment. You give in to how chilled out the melody and bass line are.

Perhaps the album’s best track, is the preciously galactic “Rockets and Jets.” It’s about a day outside, gazing at the sky with the apple of her eye. Papini sings:

It was a perfect day for planes in the sky
I saw rather stripes and silver
Shining until it blew a star

It’s the beauty in the mundane. The Kodak moments we never capture. All with a sticky bass line and again, the guitar solo which is a signature of sorts on most tracks off of Trouble. This recipe that Brooklyn’s Hospitality lays forward for the songs on this record, is exactly what I want out of an indie rock record. That “indie” label that gets thrown out there all too often, is firmly appropriate here. This isn’t a far cry from the indie I grew up with and loved in the 90’s.  And when it’s all said and done, it’s the sound of my favorite pure indie rock record of 2014: Trouble by Hospitality.

 

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