Idle Labor

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.

The band’s first single, Party Talk, was the perfect smoky dream pop track to be introduced into the buzzy blogosphere – an important tool for any up-and-coming artist from a small town at that time. This combination of lo-fi and D.I.Y. press eventually led to Brooklyn-based label Captured Tracks signing the band. The next single, Ramona, came on the cusp of fall of 2010, cool and laid-back as it was bursting with rhythms that cried out for dancing and the warmth of summer. After the Moment soon followed, a New Order-esque direct ‘80s groove of a track that was undeniable.

These three tracks would soon come together to form the backbone of Craft Spells’ debut LP, Idle Labor, released in the spring of 2011. It’s a debut of shimmering indie pop, nodding to the early 80s in the way that only someone in their early 20s can; a time when you’re brave and brazen enough to put your own spin on past impulses without a second thought and the result is a thing of beauty.


1. Beauty Above All 
2. You Should Close The Door 
3. Your Tomb 
4. Given The Time 
5. Ramona 
6. After The Moment 
7. From The Morning Heat 
8. Party Talk 
9. The Fog Rose High
10. Scandinavian Crush
11. For The Ages