Jeez! Is it really over a year since I reviewed Edinburgh band LETTERS’ debut single, ‘Grand National’?
Maybe it’s because they have such a distinctive sound that it seems like no time at all. Maybe it’s because they created such an impression with that earlier offerering that I recall it so vividly. Whatever, the five-piece are back again, cello and all, to impress even further.
The title track to this new EP shows just how far the band have come in the ensuing time – even though they really did hit the ground running last year. ‘Older Motion Pictures’ has a more mature sound to it. The cello, around which LETTERS seem to build their songs, still holds centre stage but rather than create a dark or threatening atmosphere it is used this time in conjunction with the piano to create depth, evoking a certain pathos. The vocals are slightly hushed, warm and distinctive but don’t attempt to usurp the drama of the instruments (something I feel some bands / vocalists are errantly inclined towards) and in doing so LETTERS effortlessly present a hugely classy and anthemic sounding track.
Are slow-paced songs capable of also being ‘catchy’? I think LETTERS have just answered that one.
(Digitally released through God Is In The TV Records on 19th May 2012)