The time has come to ramp up training for the STP (Seattle to Portland bike ride). Last weekend, I took a ride out toward La Conner along my normal route, which takes me down McLean. This particular road is on the path toward the famous Skagit Valley Tulips, and being in the middle of the Tulip Festival, traffic was anything but light. (more…)
Olympia bands Letters (who we’ve covered several times before) and Poppet have released a new split cassette tape, and they sent me a copy to enjoy. Being that I don’t get too many cassettes, I figured it was time again for a Cover Art piece. (more…)
Letters return to that sound I loved so much from their earliest release on their latest album, All The Adventures To See Them I Will. “Hideaway” and “Thrive” set the pace early-on, with lo-fi folk pop. The latter drops in a great beat, a most welcome addition to Letters’ already great sound.
It is this addition that makes All The Adventures To See Them I Will stand out. The Olympia-based band continues to create playful, whisper-y folk songs, but with a bigger emphasis on rhythm rather than instrumentation causes an eerie effect — something Letters have done well in the past. Yet here it’s capitalized upon; “Musk Of This Ink” is a perfect example.
As a whole, All The Adventures To See Them I Will holds together very well; better, in fact, than Letters’ previous releases. That’s not to say those prior releases didn’t hold merit — they most certainly did — it’s just that this album is more cohesive from song to song. There remain a few transition pieces, like “Hands In Pockets”, but Letters have put together an album that pays homage to their initial lo-fi folk-pop sound, yet adds elements of electro-pop throughout.
Download: “Thrive” by Letters
1. Simple Fact
5. Musk Of This Ink
6. Hands In Pockets
9. Sacred Chime
10. Expansive Feeling
11. Rare Beast
A full two years ago, I raved about a little band from Olympia called Letters. Their music featured simple melodies played by complex and unique instruments. Vocals, too, focused on patters that caught the ear and pulled a listener in. It was this combination of elements that made them so intriguing. And intriguing they were, are and will likely continue to be as we speed forward into the future. Their latest effort is simply titled “A Free Sampler” and, true to their nature, it includes plenty of grit and catch, an abundance of lo-fi and pomp, and just enough spacer interludes to make the listener question. (more…)
When I compiled my original Best Of 2008 list last December, it was a snow day. The sky dropped about a foot, maybe a foot and a half of fluffy white stuff and we lowly sub-compact drivers could go nowhere. Between ranking albums and locating album art, I took a stroll around town with my camera. The above image comes from that trek. Overall, I was pretty happy with last year’s list but, in revisiting all the albums from 2008, I now see quite a few that I left out. (more…)
One of last year’s best albums was In Case We Lose What We Have, by Olympia band Letters. It made number 23 of my favorite albums of the year. Well they’re back and they’ve joined forces with If It Ain’t Breakfast, Don’t Fix It. The DIY folk of Letters works almost too well with the wild noise of If It Ain’t Breakfast. The collective has created something outstanding that can only be dubbed lo-fi noise folk. (more…)
Written by Fense
Given the tumultuous state of the record biz, the growing recession and ever growing threats of a potential economic depression, and an overall sense of wariness toward the world in which we live, it’s no surprise that 2008 has found itself packed with groups getting back to their roots. Letters style of orchestral folk-pop (with emphasis on folk) are no exception; however, their music is uniquely their own. (more…)