It’s bizarre that Edinburgh five-piece Letters are only now getting round to their first ‘proper’ release.
Their first recordings appeared on the interwebs around 18 months ago, and there’s been a drip-drip effect of tunes being made available since.
Four track EP Older Motion Pictures is that ‘proper’ release and like their earlier tuneage, it’s tight-as-a-nut, thumping pop-rock, underpinned throughout by some dark cello sounds. We’re impressed.
We spoke to the band shortly after they emerged for Radar and were struck by both their ambition and enthusiasm. That’s been translated into an ever-expanding sound. The cello thing may have sounded like a gimmick at first, but it’s clearly woven into the fabric of the band and every song is clearly written with that sound in mind, rather than it being a wee add-on at the end.
This felt like a good time to catch up with singer/guitarist Mikey Ferguson…
So who the hell are you?
A family of tiny chicks, shivering in a hail storm in the doorway of mothercare. Or Letters.
Quite. Describe your sound in ten words or less!
Dark cello pop noiseniks
What’s inspired the new EP?
Just the usual miserable pathetic self deprecating stuff. I suffer massively from nostalgia to the point of hinderance. I believe everyone plays a film out in their head as to how they imagine their life should be and view the past through rose tinted glasses. I also think we all dream of being part of a ‘time’ we never really belonged to. That’s what inspired the title ‘Older Motion Pictures’.
Do you think you’ve changed as a band in the last year?
Not in the sense that we’re still as confident in the music we make as we were a year or so ago. I think our live show is the thing that’s progressed the most. Writing and recording is always very instinctive for us but playing to a crowd took a while longer to get good at. We were ok at the start but ok isn’t good enough. You have to be the best and give people a reason to part with their coinS to come and see you. We’re definitely worth that now. So in short yes we have changed. We are a lot tighter and look like a band now instead of a bunch of splashes fresh off of Leith Walk.
You’ve made most of your music available for free so far – any fears about asking people to pay for it?
We’ve tried to make the way our music is bought a little different. Although we’re doing the standard digital release thingymawotsit, we’re also selling merch with unique download codes on them, like T-shirts and badges. That worked really well for our last single so no nerves this time.
What have you got lined up for your launch shows?
Hopefully we’ll be bringing our visual and light show. If you’d like an idea of what that looks like… Letters – Edinburgh Film Festival 3.
Is a full length record being considered?
We’re locking ourselves away in TAPE HQ for the Autumn to record our debut album which we hope to release at the start of next year. It’s going to be a blinder!
Will we be seeing you at any festivals this summer?
You surely will. We’re playing GoNorth in Inverness on the 6th and 7th of June and off the back of that we may be at Wickerman and Belladrum…but we’ll wait and see!
Letters have the following lined up:
May 26 Edinburgh Wee Red Bar w/ Trapped Mice
May 31 Glasgow Bar Bloc w/ It Girl
June 6 Inverness GoNorth Festival
June 22 London Glasswerk (Club Surya)