Hospitality Hospitality

Hospitality Hospitality
With such an amiable name, Brooklyn, NY trio Hospitality could have delivered a cloyingly pleasant, Starbucks-ready debut (see Tennis). While the record features pristine production and a handful of VD-infectious hooks, there's more going on than sing-along fodder, thanks to multi-layered lyrics and a playful sound palette. Throughout, singer Amber Papini channels everyone from Björk and Emiliana Torrini to Casey Mecija and Maria Taylor, and that versatility keeps things fresh. "Betty Wang" is the most saccharine song on the disc and its twee-ish affability makes it an easy entry point. Similarly, "Friends of Friends" is relentlessly infectious, classing up a plodding guitar with funky riffs. On the other hand, "The Birthday" is a feat of pacing that has Papini strutting like Eleanor Friedberger before being overtaken by a crashing dénouement. And "Sleepover" begins with an innocuous setup and requisite lazy day guitar before experimenting with prescription drugs and a distorted, wakeful breakdown. Admittedly sunny yet ultimately diverse, the assured pop album is enthralling from soup to nuts. (Merge)