Previous double A-Side single The Grand National/Pipe Dreams startled and stirred up a lot of attention when released earlier in the year marking Edinburgh’s Letters as a band to closely watch. Now add their brand new single Flash! Lights into the equation and the quintet have leapt far beyond just keeping an eye on into essential listening for the soul. They return with an impressive slice of velvety darkness which wraps itself around the listener with an enticing but slightly unsettling ease, the sense of shadows and inescapable insecurity building all the time.
Flash! Lights has a darker intensity than their debut though that too carried a thick sense of disillusioned hope within its layers. The lyrics again on the new single are poetic and incisive and their ability to conjure up imagery instantly to compound the emotive feel of the track immense and at times emotionally challenging. To avoid feeling the sense of fear and panic inside that is portrayed by the skill of the writing and the haunting and imposing music is impossible.
Musically the band achieve this intrusion with many components, the moody stalking cello of Georgie Williamson as powerfully intense as ever, leads the way; she is the call to arms for despair which the rest of the band build upon wonderfully. Dougie Fuller’s bass is soulful and just as effective on creating that clinging fearful desperation as Williamson’s glorious tones, the words, and Michael Ferguson’s sad and searching voice. It all plays like a movie in the head and the heart, radiating out emotion and imagery.
During the first part of the song the guitars of Ferguson and Ed Ellis alongside the stylish drums of Kerr Donaldson stay subdued, gently adding to the slow build upon the senses until exploding in a crescendo of new hope and taking the track down new avenues gloriously for its second half. The more you listen the more the genius of it all becomes apparent, not a word you will find used lightly on this site.
Flash! Lights is glorious, it is powerful and disturbing, and Letters are the future of dark, indie pop. The following words from the band perfectly sum up what they set out to create and achieved beautifully on the single, “Flash! Lights’, to paraphrase one of the lyrics in the song, is about feeling dwarfed by the possibilities of time and the panic induced by fear of under achievement. It’s about trying to let go of your past and your vices in order that you embrace the things that truly inspire you and ultimately drive you forward, all the while recognising the complete hopelessness that neither of these aforementioned things can exist without the other.
We wanted to write a song that put the fear of God in us, something that can be as scary as the subject matter and I think we’ve managed to achieve that.”
Flash! Lights is available as a free download from July 4th, for more details and news of shows in support of the single throughout July check out the Letters official website http://www.wewriteletters.co.uk
Pete RingMaster 27/06/2011
http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F16768674 LETTERS – Flash! Lights by Soundandvisionpr
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