Hospitality

Hospitality

The angular, intricate, and intelligent compositions of Hospitality signal a sophisticated new pop voice. Singer Amber Papini’s idiosyncratic songwriting and incisive lyrics coupled with the band’s rich arrangements on their self-titled debut explore youth, New York, and the bittersweet commingling of past and present in a way that feels just right, right now.
From the opening phrase of “Eighth Avenue,” guitar hooks are balanced with a cultivated melody. Papini’s singing has a wisp of an English accent via Kansas City (she learned to sing by imitating Richard Butler on The Psychedelic Furs’ Talk Talk Talk) and her lyrics create a moonstruck, even cinematic vision of New York City, where the band formed in 2007. The production by Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells) and band member Nathan Michel (guitar, drums, keyboards), who released his share of experimental “bedroom” pop, culminating in 2005’s The Beast (Skipp/Sonig), imbues the entire record with an intimate yet prodigious sound, layering period keyboards with horns, synthesizers, and treated guitars.
Hospitality the album has an overarching vision and should be listened to as a whole, though every song registers as a single. (Will Merge take a cue from Epic’s Thriller campaign and release seven singles? They should!) “Friends of Friends” could break the Hot 100 with its heavy intro, swingin’ breakdown, and horn riffs; “Betty Wang,” the lynchpin of their live set a few years back, is impossibly catchy, the story of one of Papini’s real-life colleagues at a financial day job; and “The Right Profession” is a power-pop burst of an anthem with Papini chanting the immortal line, “It’s hard to change!” (Isn’t it?) And “The Birthday,” with a sinuous, dissonant lead guitar, the lockstep rhythm of the drums, and Brian Betancourt’s nimble bass, wouldn’t be out of place on The Police’s debut record, but its epic coda makes it decidedly CinemaScope. Hospitality, while hearkening back to ’70s/’80s pop—both Elvis Costello and Kate Bush are influences—has an ambitious vision: its big promise is nowhere more evident than on the gorgeous anthem “Julie,” the album’s centerpiece which already sounds like a classic. The song’s lush, glorious build is coupled with lyrics inspired by Papini’s great-grandfather, a Pennsylvania coalminer.
Reprising some songs from a self-released 2008 EP recorded by Karl Blau (K Records) allows Hospitality to nod to its beginnings as a more lo-fi outfit; that early intimacy can be found in the arrangement of the cheeky and distinctly NC-17 “Liberal Arts.” Since recording its LP, the band has become a quartet, filling out its live sound with Kyle Olson on drums and Michel moving to lead guitar duties. And after patiently honing its craft, playing concerts (and gaining converts), Hospitality has reached what will be its first apex with many more heights to come; from their modest debut in a Red Hook row house, the band has evolved from four-track low-fidelity to a luxury five-star future.
For their forthcoming debut LP (due in January), Hospitality have widened the iris with the help of producer Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells), letting in new colors and textures while continuing to pack an impressive degree of musical and lyrical sophistication into the pop song structure, along with a refreshing fondness for experimentation that should turn the heads of casual listeners and merciless critics alike.

Since recording, Michel has traded his trap kit for electric guitar (an instrument he’s been known to wield on his various brilliant solo efforts [Google him]), and the band has added drummer Kyle Olson to the lineup, transforming the once minimalist trio into a fully orchestrated quartet with quite the engaging live show.

Pattern is Movement

Pattern Is Movement redefine what it means to return. Their self-titled fourth album is the story of what Christopher Ward and Andrew Thiboldeaux have seen in the six years since 2008's All Together: a new and shifting territory where a percussive primal heartbeat keeps time with the baroque melody of civilization. Counting among its touchstones everything from Drake, Fred Hammond, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, Prince, Bollywood, Outkast, Springsteen, and Werner Herzog to peers like Bon Iver, Candy Claws, Beirut, and Thundercat, Pattern Is Movement unearths an entirely modern artifact right under our feet. It's beautiful and pulsing. It'll make you sweat.

Founded in Philadelphia by Andrew Thiboldeaux and Christopher Ward, Pattern Is Movement map a vast territory of internal exploration and external output. As the band recorded a series of albums over the past decade — The (Im)possibility of Longing, Stowaway, and All Together — they also shifted in membership and in stylistic focus, eventually solidifying into a powerful duo: Thiboldeaux on Rhodes, synth, bass, and vocals, and Ward on drums. Deeply soulful and natively genre-defying, they toured extensively, joining bands like St. Vincent, The Roots, and Shudder to Think, before delving into their fourth album and, along with it, the brightest and darkest corners of composition, orchestration, and collaboration. Years in the making, the release of Pattern Is Movement's new self-titled album is accompanied by a 12" single and will be available in a limited edition deluxe colored vinyl package, as well as on CD and Digital formats.

The Building

“You’re Still Champ” EP is made up of instrumental elements from The Building's forthcoming album “The Swooshy Businessman”. In the context of the songs that they are from, these elements might get buried or brushed over. But when presented on their own, they become romanticized versions of themselves; sounding more grand and important than they actually are. There is also the possibility for them to sound superfluous and not worth being presented outside the context of their song. This idea of perception of memory is also central to the songs of “The Swooshy Businessman”.

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Tickets Available at the Door

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Glasslands Gallery

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Hospitality with Pattern is Movement, The Building

Saturday, October 19 · Doors 8:00 PM at Glasslands Gallery

Tickets Available at the Door