One of the best things about being a blogger is the chance to listen to music that I never would have heard otherwise. As a result, I now listen to all types of music and my mind has really been broadened. Letters To Fiesta are a band who I wouldn’t ever have come across, had I not been sent their EP to review. Their lyrical, alternative pop is the perfect chill out music, which will certainly brighten up an autumn evening.
They’re a Manchester band who have received comparisons to Kate Bush and Tegan and Sara. Aphorism is their debut EP and follows two successful online singles. One thing that distinguishes them from other bands is their innovative funding technique, where they ask fans to pay for their music by donating old vinyl records rather than with cash. The band say of their scheme:
“The idea is people can bring a vinyl to the gigs, and swap it for one of our EPs or other donated records. The ‘donated’ vinyls are sold at our shows on a pop up vinyl merch stall. Mixing records with gigs has been a great way of funding ourselves, but it’s been amazing to see people’s reactions. Introducing younger people to vinyls and hearing people’s stories is really inspiring!”
With such an unusual method of funding themselves, it implies that unusual methods are something that they specialise in. Indeed, their latest single Tears Apart which kicks off the EP, is a quirky electropop number with a definite folk twist. It begins with a deep fuzz and Eastern-inspired pipe sounds before the ghostly female vocal, which prevails throughout the record, arrives. The tribal waves come through and the theatre in the vocal tones are shown to perfection. It’s very weird and intriguing, which is a recurring feeling on the EP. It’s followed up with a dark sinister interlude called Tetration, which has a definite sense of doom to it.
Swan Girl begins with electronic scrapes and a dark beat, which are joined by a shimmering backing. Resonating chimes and the ethereal vocal turn it into a dramatic showcase with some very interesting vocal patterns delivered in an unpredictable register. It’s a very quirky cool track, which has a lot of layers and intricate images within it.
Next is Infinity Call, which begins with a slow-building electronic tone and a sultry low vocal, reminiscent of Lana Del Rey. It’s simple and atmospheric, which anticipates the explosion of the electronic grinding and shimmering chimes. More ethereal patterns are splattered across the soundscape while a constant bass hums underneath and an unexpected folksy clicking ends it.
The most commercial track is Stay Young and with its soft, swaying rhythm and kooky weeping vocal, it’s the most similar to Kate Bush. Electronic blasts make up the backing together with a strong drum while the vocal goes right through the stratosphere with very impressive licks. An odd breakdown of music with some indecipherable electronics ensues before launching into a squealing guitar and electronic mix. It’s a very eclectic song that will take you on a weird, electronic journey that is littered with colour and texture.
Elected is an odd addition and is largely instrumental comprising of a monotone buzz and gentle electronic violin tones. The mayor of Manchester is speaking but his words, which are a commentary on every day life, are distorted by the electronics. I feel like it’s more of an arty track, placed purely for quirky reasons, as opposed to a profound, thought-provoking piece.
Ending on Vampires, which as the title suggests, is pretty haunting. A church organ starts it with pretty chimes and a faint choral voice, which provides a sense of anticipation. The long intro finally sees the arrival of the vocal, which are delivered in a melodic musical style. A staccato drum adds an edge and there are two breakdowns -the first where everything suddenly cuts out except the vocal and the second where the church organ returns and the vocals sigh softly. The drum returns with a vengeance before the end, which is brought along by an atmospheric high vocal. No doubt, this would be another amazing live performance.
Aphorism really illustrates how well Letters To Fiesta are as a live act. Creating pictures via music is something that only good electronic pop acts can do and there are so many different emotions on this EP. For a first record, it’s a really good effort and they definitely have a unique, intriguing sound.