Letters to Fiesta – Aphorism (EP) (Sideways Saloon)

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Having spent the past couple of years developing and refining their sound, Manchester quartet Letters To Fiesta released their first single “Mesosphere” back in December 2012 and are readying the release of their debut EP, ‘Aphorism’.

Although the comparison has been made many times before, you can’t help but make comparison to Kate Bush when discussing Anna Etherington’s voice and in fact Letters to Fiesta’s music in general. Their sound is made up of quirky synths, rhythmic drums, and of course Etherington’s unique voice.

‘Aphorism’ manages to blend theatrics with sincerity which of course is no easy feat. Just as impressive is the way Letters To Fiesta combine all their ideas and influences, which spans from pop to new wave, and folk to post punk, to create their own sound.

The EP is made up of 7 tracks and clocks in at just over 23 minutes beginning with “Tears Apart” which immediately introduces listeners to the band’s unique and celestial alt-pop music. “Tears Apart” is driven by Etherington’s impressive vocals, backed by a post-punk bass line, and coloured by synth pads.

“Swan Girl” is a hook laden and creative little number characterized by swirling synths. Just check out the song’s chorus which turns “Swan Girl” into a quirky up-tempo pop tune, from seemingly out of nowhere.

“Infinity Call” on the other hand is a dark, almost goth-flavoured track, which recalls early Bat For Lashes circa ‘Fur and Gold’.

Though distinctive and quirky, Etherington’s voice isn’t always easy on the ears. Take for example the Kate Bush-meets-Cyndi Lauper- meets Cocteau Twins, “Stay Young”, where Etherington is at once breathy, urgent and only just contains herself from screaming while just doing enough to stay in key. An album highlight track, you will be hard pressed to find a more animated vocal hook this year than “Stay Young”.

Intertwined between the songs are two ambient pieces, “Tetration” and “Elected”, which further reinforce the EP’s theatrical and cinematic qualities.

Their out-of-the-box thinking and un-conventionalism also carries over to their live shows:

“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!”.

A quirky and exciting debut EP which gives pop music a nice big kick up the ass, ‘Aphorism’ will be released on 28 October, 2013.

Watch the video for “Vampires” below:

Listen to “Tears Apart” below:

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