Wednesday, 1 February 2012


Edinburgh's five piece Letters caused quite a stir at the start of 2011 when their dark cello pop, urgent melancholic vocals and ambitious rock instrumentation, saw their first double sided free single 'Grand National / Pipe Dreams' cause a buzz across the UK's media and blogosphere. Scotsman Radar, The Pop Cop, Jim Gellatly, CMU Daily and Ally McCrae’s Radio1 Session in Scotland were among the many voices declaring Letters as the band to watch.

"The hottest new band in Scotland right now." The Pop Cop

"It's rare that such a new band sounds so close to the finished of acts such as Jimmy Eat World will find much to admire in the pedal-to-the-metal chorus, but there's still plenty of musical meat on the bones.” Scotsman Radar

“An enthralling mix of Frightened Rabbit and Idlewild.” Faded Glamour

"Their tendency to leap on the distortion pedal as songs draw to an end, and my weakness for vocals sung in a Scottish accent, it makes for a winning formula...They could have a very bright future indeed." CMU

Letters are a million musical miles away from most other Edinburgh acts. While the two tracks they’ve made available on their site so far demonstrate a knack for a nice harmony, the music is very much plugged in, with the riff that drives 'Grand National' towards its coda falling into the ‘bruising’ category. And all the while that large, cumbersome stringed instrument is clearly audible.

With elegance and class, with darkness and light entwined, Edinburgh’s Letters are warmly welcomed to The Whiteboard Project pages with their track ‘Pipe Dreams’ that is without doubt a worthy ‘Track Of The Day.’

Edinburgh indie artists Letters, do just that twice, with their debut double a-sided single. Two stunning tracks which deliver freshness and originality and for a group that only formed the in the back end of 2010, it is scarily exciting what they could achieve in the future from this confident and accomplished start.

As it starts, it reminds me a lot of Final Fantasy, with the gorgeous strings and the similar vocal style, before shifting up a few gears and taking a darker, rockier turn round

The band exhume an extremely striking brand of indie pop which has a resonating quality. The topic is often of woe, but the songs are uplifting, and the delivery absorbing.

The juxtaposition of prominent cello and processed drums, and the tendency to give songs that big push at the end earmarks this as something special.

Letters have their own sound but there is more than a hint of Ra Ra Riot within this offering, especially on 'Grand National'. They have created a similar haunting sound with emotional sounding tunes. Maybe a lot of this comes from Georgie Williamson's cello which creates a similar feel to the one that Alexandra Lawn gives to Ra Ra Riot. Both tunes are quite simply amazing.

Refined pop with a warm classical glow. A significant band just might be emerging here, confidently coming up for air…

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The release of their follow up single 'Flash!Lights' saw them gain more attention with siginificant radio play on Introducing in scotland, with Jim Gellantly, plus festival appearances at Wickerman and Rockness. Flash!Lights showed a pleasing progression, and allowed Letters to make it into some bigger publications and playlists.


“Taking the booming yet emotional presence of Frightened Rabbit, Letters new single manages to incorporate a throbbingly haunting cello arrangement into soaring guitars that reach Biffy levels of power.” Artrocker

"Dramatised cello, layered guitars and quivering drums all building to a closing minute of sheer pop-mayhem."

Scottish five piece Letters should be loved by plenty though.There's elements of Frightened Rabbit and Idlewild in the band - and the latter influence is particularly prominent as the song progresses.

The track builds almost imperceptibly for the first three quarters of its duration before erupting into a full-on orchestrated soundrack of a climax.

Letters have developed their sound into a more complete affair with crisper riffs and the verve and swagger of a band at the top of their game, even at this early stage. The song echoes a post apocalyptic fear and worry, evoking the emptiness we feel when faced with a dilemma, where there is no right answer. Then, as if to compensate you for putting you in this state of fear, Letters knock your head off with a phenomenal close to the track. This climax is met with a gargantuan drum beat and a healthy dose of what I call 'epic noise' (definitely a good thing). If the hairs on the back of your neck don't stand to attention for this, then you probably aren't alive.

Edinburgh’s Letters have been busy, releasing early-Idlewild-esque single ‘Flash! Lights!’ (White label ●●●) only months after beginning gigging.

Flash! Lights is glorious, it is powerful and disturbing, and Letters are the future of dark, indie pop.

Letters are probably the best new band I've heard from anywhere this year: listen to 'Flash Lights', and should you remain unmoved by their melodramatic eloquence I then fear you lack a soul.

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