Release Date: January 28, 2014 (Merge Records)
Buzz Factor: 4.3/5
With one listen through, it might be easy to only remember the insanely catchy “I Miss Your Bones” on Hospitality’s Trouble, but there’s a much more intricate performance hidden around the rhythmic bounce of the album’s third track.
The variety and range of Trouble is what sticks the most, even at one point traveling from the electronic, dance-fueled “Last Words” directly into the orchestral-acoustic track “Sunship” seconds later.
While the album’s standout is clearly “I Miss Your Bones,” other tracks like “It’s Not Serious” also prove capable of hold their own weight. The seventh song on Trouble sees frontwoman Amber Papini’s vocals blur lines with a verse reminiscent of Victoria Burgsman’s days in The Concretes, packaged with a chorus that hooks you with a reflection of Laura Veirs. But it’s the overall upbeat nature of the track that leaves you imagining nothing short of a cloudless, sunny day – even when it’s currently -12 degrees right outside your window.
It’s Hospitality’s decision to take each track’s volume in different directions that shows the impressive flexibility of songwriting behind Trouble – exploding out to higher levels or slamming on the breaks and taking it slow in the middle of individual tracks, like “Nightingale” and “Rockets and Jets.”
Hospitality’s track diversity can be traced to decisions to mix the comfort of string instruments over the top of distorted guitars, or the band’s ability to substitute violins for synthesizers and vice-versa.
Hospitality ends Trouble on a soft-note, eliminating the use of orchestral instruments like on “Sunship,” and focusing the attention on Papini’s ability to captivate listeners as she simply hums over an acoustic guitar – resting the album quietly into your memory and leaving you with a final taste of what each song truly is: Something beautifully crafted and projected out to fit its proper stage, whether it’s big or small.