Friday, September 27, 2013

EP Review :: Letters To Fiesta - Aphorism

Letters to Fiesta


October 28 2013 (Self-Release)


Words: Dave Beech

Very little is known about Manchester synth-pop quartet Letters to Fiesta, though it doesn't seem as if it will stay that way for long. Despite having been together for a couple of years, it wasn't until early 2013 that the enigmatic air surrounding the band slowly began to dissipate, as they released their first tracks online to more than favourable responses. Now, with the likes of This is Fake DIY and The Line of Best Fit championing them, Letters to Fiesta are set to reveal their d├ębut EP 'Aphorism', which as it turns out, is a dazzling record full of haunting atmospherics, camp theatrics and huge ambitions.

The record begins with most recent online release 'Tears Apart', and as such a building wall of synth, soon joined Anna Etherington's haunting vocals. As far as first tracks go, it's a rousing introduction to the band, and one which hints at the atmospherics yet to come. Conversely, third track 'Swan Girl', though featuring the same pounding percussion, exhibits a much more delicate, almost Eastern flavour that's juxtaposed by confident vocal work and excellently produced bass. It's an ambitious track and does nothing to quash the enormity established by 'Tears Apart'.

Aphorism can generally be taken to mean a general truth, a statement of intent if you will, and that's precisely what Letters to Fiesta have crafted here. Their record suggests, above all things, a refusal to be bound by the constraints of genre. From the grandiose theatrics of the Amanda Palmer-esque 'Stay Young' to the anthemic and haunting 'Vampires', the first song to be previewed from the record, each track exhibits different ideas, different aesthetics that when merged together, form a coherent and ultimately beautiful EP that will undoubtedly propel the band in to mainstream consciousness.

Whilst each track featured is generally worth mentioning in it's own right, the strongest track to be featured is the aforementioned 'Vampires'. Clocking in at a little under five minutes, it's the longest track on 'Aphorism' and one which utilises Etherington's vocal timbre to great effect. The dynamics at play are also some of the best on the record with huge-sounding percussion forming the backbone of the track, underpinning the impactive and occasionally fragile vocal work. It really is the absolute pinnacle of a record that's full of high points. As the vocal harmony closes the track, and as such, the EP, you know that something truly special has happened. Ambitious, emphatic and oozing cool, Letters to Fiesta are yet another band from Manchester with more than a bright future.

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