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Letters Letters Letters Letters

It’s difficult not to hear Letters Letters’ debut as a reaction to the defiant indie mega-pop of their fellow Montreal bands Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade. The trio’s sound here is anything but “big”: acoustic guitars make way for atonal washes of noise, understated, angst-ridden vocals rarely leave the lower registers, and the use of electronics is both quirky and restrained. Letters Letters works best when a bit of melody pokes through the melancholy fuzz and the broken, scattering clicks meld into a syncopated beat. In these moments, the surrounding druggy abstraction and drone get the weight they deserve and the tracks shimmer. Letters Letters isn’t a great album, but it’s certainly an interesting one.

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