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Hospitality's self-titled debut album completely passed me by when it first came out, but now that we're finally getting acquainted I have to admit I'm enjoying what they have to offer. Fronted by big-voiced singer/guitarist Amber Papini, this trio are conjuring up a '90s-indebted indiepop which runs the gamut from spiky guitar-led power-pop to slinky synthpop ballads. The production here is very slick too, very smooth and, if you're looking for things to pick apart, sometimes on the bland side of inoffensive.
I for one have no desire to pick this one apart, though. I'm enjoying it a lot. At first it just seems like your regular neo-post-grunge indietracks syrup pop types like Allo Darlin', Evans The Death and the rest, but it's set apart firstly by a constant sense of reinvention, from the razor-sharp guitar and gorgeous mellotron of opener 'Nightingale' into the shameless Fleetwood Mac slink of 'Going Out', the Breeders-meets-Haim crafted perfection of 'I Miss Your Bones', then the minimal wave synth throb of 'Inauguration', it's clear from the offset that this is an album which will keep throwing out the surprises throughout.
The second thing that's striking here is the consistent quality of the songwriting. Papini navigates a genre fraught with possible irritations and still sounds super cool, her perfectly crafted hooks chiming hazily through bare-bones drum grooves and gliding synths. Nothing is dragged on too long, the arrangements are always focused and concise. Much better than the new Dum Dum Girls record.
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