If you had to wrap up the spirit of this current Indie wave in a single package, trying to capture the very essence of that Jangly ‘apathetic yet melancholic’ Indie Pop and bottle it, then Letrasets – a sparkling new Quartet based and formed in Liverpool, just might be the ‘choice of a new generation’..!
As four young lads roaming the same blocks as another Fab Four, they also feature a lead man that doubles as the bass player. ? However, the similarities might end there. Instead of riding that simplistic backbeat of yesterday on their debut single “Castles”, the boys immediately break into a syncopated backbeat of stop / start patterns, all while twisting around a dancey but deft bassline that helps bridge the gap between the changes. What’s more, while the lyrics are both contemplatively dreamy as well as direct (even with a self-admission of guilt or two), there is an obvious maturity beyond their years at work here.
As an example, starting with the second and third lyrical lines of verse one, take note of the way the last word of each line drags beyond the end of the rhythmic bar into the next. Starting with “Yours In… Side” and ending with “Nowhere to… Hide” – this uncommon phrasing element elicits a stark counterpoint from the rhythm section in the gap (or, back on the ‘one’ as JB used to say). Either this is an impressively choreographed technique, or it is simply an excellent stroke of natural genius.
And then, there are the guitars. Ah, that wonderful jangly sound of ‘now’. These guys get it. As the chorus abruptly and suddenly soars, with a hopeful declaration that everything shared wasn’t for nothing, the band cleverly layers those fertile guitar beds with shining lead lines overtop. Sky-reaching like the tower in this castle potentially made of sand, will that desire remain or be swept into the sea and simply drift away forever?
A ‘Lo-Fi’ percussive pattern begins the second verse as the struggle to connect continues, ending in a slight admission that our feelings can easily lead us to act, well… imperfectly. That, even the lies we tell are somehow just a necessary consequence of trying to protect a partner. That, even in the midst of a relationship ending – we are often consumed only with how it impacts ourselves. There’s a fun, yet direct back and forth conversational section after the second chorus that captures all of these emotions candidly.
Look – This isn’t your grandmother or grandfather’s idea of Brit Pop. This is that new, new. It’s bringing that swing and dancey vibe while turning up the darkness a few notches. It’s also simply a young band that is passionately intent on honing their own brand within this Indie Jangle Pop craze, all while building up a nice resume of live gigs and sold out support shows in the bubbling Liverpool Indie Scene. If you can’t see them live, show love by visiting some of their links below. Get close while you can, folks. If they can generate a couple more singles like this, The Letrasets might soon have the foundation for building faraway Castles of their own.