Girl Graffiti

Girl Graffiti

by Hotel Lights


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Girl Graffiti

Darren Jessee and his partners in the band Hotel Lights clearly take their time with their music, and that's audible in the final product. Girl Graffiti arrives three years after 2008's Firecracker People, and if they claimed that they spent most of that time in the studio, it wouldn't be hard to imagine; this music doesn't sound at all overcooked, but the craft is careful and intelligent, with every instrumental and emotional detail sounding just right, and the band gives these 11 songs a rich, luxuriously textured sound that's the perfect vehicle for Jessee's dour but beautiful melodies. Jessee also seems to have learned a bit since Firecracker People; while that album felt stylistically monochromatic despite its lovely surfaces, Girl Graffiti is noticeably more dynamic, shifting between the uptempo pop of "Dave Sharkey to the Dance Floor," the spare sadness of "Super 8mm," the big guitar-dappled landscapes of "Headboards and Aspirin," and the cocky rock & roll tone of "All My Asshole Friends," while still maintaining their distinct sonic personality throughout. Jessee's vocals are nearly as strong and clever as his lyrics, and it's a shame that both suffer at the hands of a mix that often pushes them deeply into the mix in favor of the instruments, though even if they function as instrumental seasoning rather than a vehicle for a clear message, they work in context. And Jessee and his compatriots Alan Weatherhead (guitars and keyboards), Zeke Hutchins (drums), and Jay Brown (bass) offer splendid accompaniment on every track. Girl Graffiti is an album that perfectly captures the sound of heartache and ennui, like a sunny day with clouds undercutting the light, and it's a marvel of pop record making; Hotel Lights are advised to take their time but not dawdle as they work on their follow-up.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/16/2011
Label: Bar/None Records
UPC: 0032862020520
catalogNumber: 205

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