Back in the winter of early ’09 I saw Hospitality play a scraggly, charming set of slightly left-field twee indie-pop at a houseparty in Brooklyn. I remember it vividly. The instantly winning song “Betty Wang” came toward the end of their set and I couldn’t believe I’d never heard (of) them before. Intoxicated by this unexpected but genuine sort of discovery (also just “intoxicated”), I was like “this band will be a Band To Watch on Stereogum next week.” And so they were! Ultimately it was somewhat of a relief to hear from Hospitality via email of the substantial bona fides that helped locate the then-trio in our sort of world — a six-song debut EP produced by Karl Blau, sets opening for Stereolab and Frog Eyes — but their BTW stripes were confirmed that night with that set, and again simply upon hearing that EP.
And then, nothing. It’s taken two years for the band to take their next step — a time during which bassist Brian Betancourt has moonlighted on tour with White Rabbits, and Hospitality has added a fourth member — but the step they’re taking should mean good things: Hospitality has just announced signing with Merge Records for their self-titled debut LP, due early 2012. It’s produced by Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells) and band member Nathan Michel, and all of this attention to detail means, in the case of lead MP3 “Friends Of Friends,” at least, a sound with less scraggle and more fully realized finesse to showcase vocalist Amber Papini’s off-kilter melodic pop stylings. Grab it here:
Hospitality – “Friends Of Friends”
And from that debut EP, here’s “Betty Wang,” which Brandon Stosuy then called “an instant and mysterious twee classic.” (He’s not wrong.)
Hospitality is Brian Betancourt, Nathan Michel, Kyle Olson, and Amber Papini. Their debut is due on Merge next year. There’s a few dates to keep you warm:
09/09 – Raleigh, NC @ The Union (Hopscotch Music Festival)
09/10 – Washington, DC @ Red Palace
10/18 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom w/ Wild Flag & Eleanor Friedberger