By Jena Ardell
By Brian McManus
By Chaz Kangas
By Sound of the City
By Peter Gerstenzang
By Katherine Turman
By Chris Kornelis
By Brian McManus
"We weren't consciously trying to avoid current trends. We just wanted to go for a sort of classic sound. I'm not sure if we achieved that. We only had about a week to record and mix, so there wasn't a lot of time to play around with the sound," says Hospitality singer Amber Papini, who points to Elvis Costello, Neil Young, and composer Igor Stravinsky as guideposts for their recently released self-titled debut. "With that amount of time, all you can do is just move forward without hesitation. But I think having limited time to create is helpful. Sometimes when you have too many choices and a lot of time, you can get overwhelmed and not make anything."
Perhaps the biggest reason New York is seeing such a boom is the support of industrious diehards. The center of the new class of indie pop was Cake Shop, where Hospitality, the Drums, and many other popheads played crucial early gigs. "We did set out as a place to house that style of music, which we felt for a time was a little underrepresented," says owner Andy Bodor, who is quick to point out that his club's name is a reference to original janglers Swell Maps. Shortly after it opened, Vivian Girls and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart were popping up and playing the club regularly.
"From all the music I've been exposed to, I still get enraptured in some new hook I haven't heard before," Bodor says. "I totally feel in love with that Hospitality record. 'Friends of Friends' was in my head for . . . well, it's still in my head!"
While the Drums, the Pains, Hospitality, and bands of their ilk have all found fans and received a healthy amount of critical acclaim, none of them have been subjected to the "coolest band ever" levels of hype that, say, Grizzly Bear, the Strokes, and Odd Future have received in recent years. Which is probably just fine with them.
"I think all you can really do is make songs that are pleasing to you and you're proud of and kind of keep going, and eventually people will understand you," Graham says. "It is just pop songs, y'know?"
The Drums and Hospitality play the 4Knots Music Festival on Saturday, July 14.