Live Review: Hospitality at The Echo

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Live Review: Hospitality at The Echo
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Merge Records
 
While Hospitality took the stage of The Echo in Los Angeles, the whole of the East Coast was getting smothered in snow and ice. Yet in sunny California, the Brooklyn-based indie darlings reveled in warm tones and brought some thoughtful whimsy to the Echo Park institution.
 
Wearing a shredded Bikini Kill t-shirt, lead singer Amber Papini apologized for her cold, asking the enormous crowd to try and understand if she suffered any coughing fits. The trio brought a deft, shoegaze-y charm to their repertoire, rolling out their debut album Trouble with solemn ingenuity. 
 
Hospitality's languorous, understated songs demand contemplation. They would feel right at home on a rainy bus ride in Seattle, or perhaps in the wee morning hours, while cleaning up after a particularly raucous party. Papini's haunting, sharp vocals and biting lyrics are the stuff whispered between stalls in the aftermath. Nathan Michel (who began with Hospitality on drums, yet now largely presides over guitar duties) lent the performance it's sprawling, dreamy New York ambivalence with one superb solo after another. 
 
Although Hospitality's songs are equal measures catchy pop and cheeky melancholy, their set was heartfelt in all its subdued glory.
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