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Idle Labor

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iTunes Review

Craft Spells started as a one-man effort in California, then blossomed into a full band in Seattle after a few singles and an EP. This full-length debut by Justin Paul Vallesteros and his band oozes an inarguably ‘80s-tinted warmth and sweetness; at times it feels like a hug in earbuds. Vallesteros knows how to craft a strong melody, and the ringing guitars entwined with the artist’s yearning vocals make a formidable pair. Idle Labor offers moments that evoke everyone from The Smiths (“The Fog Rose High”) to Orange Juice (“Your Tomb”) and even early New Order (“You Should Close the Door”). An early single, “Party Talk,” is a glistening gem, with a crisp dance beat set to joyous, underplayed guitar licks, ghostly vocals, and touches like a vaporous theremin and a shimmering triangle lending the song a delicate, ephemeral feel. Craft Spells have done their homework well. As a thesis, Idle Labor merits an “A” for historical comprehension, with lavish bonus points for originality and contemporary interpretation.

Customer Reviews


If New Order released an album after Substance in the 2010's this is what it would sound like. It's the 80's new wave you've been searching for your whole life.


From the Morning Heat is mistakenly (or purposely?) both the titled song and the following song "After the Moment"
Just thought this should be pointed out.

Craft Spells

This is one of my favorite albums of all the time.


Formed: 2009 in Stockton, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Toward the end of 2009, in a bedroom in Stockton, California -- previously known only in the music world for producing Stephen Malkmus' Pavement -- a 21-year-old Justin Paul Vallesteros began experimenting with simple synth and guitar lines, gradually layering them to create the sound that would become Craft Spells. Joined by guitarist Frankie Soto, the Seattle-born Vallesteros recorded "Party Talk," a smoky dream pop track that would first introduce the band to the blogosphere -- an important tool...
Full Bio
Idle Labor, Craft Spells
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings