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letters letters - Letters Letters
Letters Letters marks quite a departure for the Type label and offers up their most tantalising, giddy transmission of the year so far. Far removed from the epic soundscaping and quiet displays the label is best known for, Letters Letters finds Mitchell Akiyama and friends developing a maverick songwriting style housed in complex, almost discordant structures that take some time to sink in - but which eventually plaster themselves to your mind with a determined accessibility that's just effortlessly cool and utterly memorable. We'd go as far as to suggest that "Letters Letters" is one of the most addictive albums we've heard this year - situating itself somewhere between shimmering acid folk and the post-punk sensibilities of bands like Cabaret Voltaire, This Heat or even the excellent Ike Yard. Letters Letters are just the latest in a long line of experimental pop musicians to emerge from Montreal's thriving music scene, and in addition to Akiyama two of the most notable contributors to his Intr-Version label Tony Boggs (better known as Desormais) and Jenna Robertson (aka Avia Gardner) make up the Letters Letters configuration. Not fitting in with any established Canadian indie songwriting strategies, the band draw on the various members' backgrounds in electronic music and apply a grimy DIY sensibility to the writing and production, resulting in a kind of rough 'n' ready new-wave sound, complete with woozy vocals to match the brilliantly acute programming approach. Boggs takes a bit of a frontman role in the group, but there's a charmingly nonchalant vacancy to Jenna Robertson's singing on 'Want To' that exudes a certain quiet grrrl charm, whilst elsewhere there's a bit of boy-girl tag team action on the psych-ish haze of 'Wishing Well'. With a debut album that pumps out a genius clamour from start to finish, Letters Letters are resolutely an underground band, hardly likely to stir up Reading Festival sing-alongs in a manner akin to some of the trio's fellow Montreal denizens, but therein lies the band's greatest strength: they're a glorious mess. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.