Artist of the Week– Hospitality

Hospitality is a three piece indie pop band based in Brooklyn, NY. Although formed in 2007, the band had been quiet since their self titled EP in 2008 up until the release of their full length album, also self titled, earlier this year. Amber Papini, the singer, taught herself how to sing growing up in Kansass City, Mo. In Rachael Maddux’s review of Hospitality’s album for Pitchfork, she described “quietly groovy drumbeats that turn fully danceable in the flick of an instant, shimmering Afropoppy guitar raining down like confetti, whole brass sections that seem to barge in and sneak away and climb back in through some window.” The album received positive reviews from many music blogs and is said to be a tribute to the comings and goings of life as a twentysomething. Hospitality was named Stereogum’s band to watch in 2009.

Artist(s) of the Week– Icky Blossoms and Craft Spells

We return with two great groups to share–
Craft Spells

Craft Spells is a four piece band from Stockton, California headed up by Justin Vallesteros. Self-described as a “the epitome of the recent uprising of the DIY music scene,” the band mixes interesting vocals with swelling guitar melodies, dreamy synths, and looped melodies. Craft Spells generated blog buzz with the single “Party Talk” which lead to the production of a full length album. In the Spring of 2011, Craft Spells released their debut album Idle Labor and has recently announced a new EP due out May 15.

Icky Blossoms

Emerging as a side project of already established Omaha bands Tilly and the Wall and Flowers Forever, Icky Blossoms has started making a name for themselves in the Omaha music scene as well as elsewhere. Currently they are performing at SXSW as well as in local Omaha venues. Former band member of both groups, Derek Pressnall described the beginnings of Icky when Pressnall wrote some Flowers songs with a synthesizer instead of a guitar until the new synth songs became a sound of their own. The band is comprised of Pressnall, Nik Fackler, Sara Bohlin, and J.J. Idt. The band is live and energetic at shows and really know how to get the crowd moving with their catchy lyrics and upbeat keyboard notes.

One of their popular tracks, “Perfect Vision” exhibits the combined forces of Pressnall, Fackler, Thiele and Idt. At 6:50, it’s a longer track, with a sound Pressnall best describes as “a really hypnotic chainsaw-guitar, swirly song on top of a hypnotic groove.” He says the track was inspired by Beyonce’s song “Diva,” particularly its simple yet groovy, recurring rhythms.

Artist of the Week: Flake Music

Flake Music is the James Mercer-fronted precursor to the indie rock staple The Shins. Bringing at first only drummer Jesse Sandoval with him (soon followed by Flake Music’s other core members), Mercer founded The Shins after Flake Music’s conclusion in 1997. Their music bears an obvious stylistic resemblance to The Shins, although with notably lower production values. Flake Music’s career spanned one album, “When You Land Here, It’s Time To Return,” and one tour, in support of Modest Mouse.

‎”The Shins” performed by Flake Music (The Shins)

Artist of the Week: Real Estate

Real Estate is an indie rock band formed in Ridgewood, New Jersey now based out of Brooklyn.

The band is composed of singer/guitarist Martin Courtney, guitarist Matthew Mondanile (also the guitarist for Ducktails), bassist Alex Bleeker (of Alex Bleeker and the Freaks), drummer Jackson Pollis, and keyboardist Jonah Maurer.

The band has just released their second studio album Days which following their self titled debut. Described as “underwater pop songs,” Real Estate nods to psychedelic and lo-fi influences. On Days, the band has tightened up their sound while maintaining their relaxed, breezy, and effortless sound.

Artist of the Week: Future Islands


Future Islands is yet another excellent band to breach out from the Baltimore Band scene. This trio formed in 2006, and released self-recorded Little Advances later that year, which was a split album with the solo project of their keyboardist, Gerrit Welmer.


Their official debut album, Wave Like Home cake out 2008, featuring “Beach Foam.”  In Evening Air  was released in 2010, featuring “Walking Through that Door” (Youtube link below) and “Vireo’s Eye.”

Their most recent album came out On October 11, 2011, called On the Water.   The album “[continues] to to deliver pounding rhythms, swelling melodies, and undeniable hooks,” as well as featured artists such as Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner.

Both On the Water and In Evening Air were produced by Chester Endersby Gwazda, who also produced Dan Deacon’s album Bromst.

Links :

Beach Foam

Walking through that door:

Artist of the Week: Wax Tailor



Wax Tailor is a french DJ turned electronic/trip-hop musician.  His label, Lab’Ortatoire was created in 1998.  His first album, Tales of the Forgotten Melodies came out in March 2005.  This album has a bunch of rap tunes on it as well as a couple more Books-ish pieces.

The song Que Sera is a great track off this album, the youtube video can be seen below, which takes samples from the movie Metropolis.

He has also collaborated with many other muscians including Sharon Jones, Charlotte Savary and a bunch of rappers including ASM, The Others,


Que Sera:


Live version of “Que Sera”:


Another excellent song, “A Woman’s Voice”:


29-year-old Annie Clark, better known by her stage name St. Vincent, released her third album Strange Mercy last month, and has been generating a whole lot of praise ever since. Known mostly for her previous album, Actor, St. Vincent’s newest album continues her artistic evolution without sacrificing what made her stand out in the first place.

The Texas native attended Berklee College of Music, which doubtlessly influenced the expressive symphonic arrangements that fill and accentuate all three of her albums. Soon after dropping out, she gained prominence playing for the Polyphonic Spree and then Sufjan Steven’s touring band. Not content just staying in the background,  though, she began a series of covers, including Nico’s “These Days” as well as The Beatles’s “I Dig a Pony”, all of which she included in her first album, Marry Me.

After her debut merited positive reviews, Ms. Clark’s fame truly rose upon the release of her second album, Actor, which was written entirely on Garageband. Expanding both her fan base and her musical palette, Actor launched St. Vincent onto an entirely new level. She expressed a darker side of her mind, balancing her beautiful voice with orchestral textures and a sense of queasiness. Clark, however, truly found her voice with the release of Strange Mercy.

This time around, she focuses less on the orchestral aspects of her work and more on her own emotions. Replacing the string and wind sections are visceral guitar solos and raw vocals. Singles such as “Cruel” and “Surgeon” are direct examples of this: both are simultaneously more accessible and experimental than her previous works. St. Vincent’s latest album’s success lies not only in her ability to create her own paradoxical world, but in her ability to relate her emotions to her audience: the listener feels as though they are experiencing everything as she sings about it.

Although she will continue to create her distinct brand of music, we will both enjoy Strange Mercy for quite awhile.

-Maxwell Weigel & Halley Furlong-Mitchell