Although they formed in 2017, things really started moving for Wolfsburg’s Letters Sent Home in 2020 with their well-received debut single ‘Mosaic Mirror’. Since then, this quartet have released two EP’s before arriving at their latest offering Fire In Me. Comprising of four tracks that perfectly blur the lines between alternative rock and dark pop, Fire In Me is a divine record with which to warm up these long winter evenings.
Attesting to the band’s ambition and sense of purpose, Fire In Me gets straight down to business with opening shot ‘Fire’ being the spark that lights the kindling. There’s no need for elongated introductions or other filler, there’s just a heavy electro beat that smoulders like burning embers and Emily Paschke’s amorous vocals which entices the flames higher. It’s a multi-layered affair with a deep production that places you in the eye of the storm as the vocals and instrumentation swirl around the listener like tornado. With barely a pause for breath ‘Born To Die’ appears amidst heavy riffage and a pounding rhythm section, and alongside ‘Fire’ makes for an impressive one-two punch.
In an age when it seems that every musical avenue has been explored, Letters Sent Home are one of those rarefied bands who’re rocking a unique groove. Sure, you can hear their influences, but they’re used as a springboard towards something new, rather than any nefarious copycatting. The merger of ice cold, surgical synths to Emily’s vocals makes for an interesting tension of opposites, as does Robin Werner’s lithe guitar that’s tethered to a weighty rhythm section provided by bassist Lara Ripke and drummer Louis Schramm. Yet, like different sides of the same coin they exist in perfect harmony with each acting as a foil to enhance and highlight the other.
What I like most about this EP is that no two songs inhabit the same sonic space; they’ve each their own character yet coexist peacefully. However, despite the sonic shifts Fire In Me flows smoothly and the defiant ‘Phoenix’ comes out with all fists flying as it soars towards the sun. Closing the EP is ‘Misery Loves Company’, a track which features a guest spot from Joel Quartuccio as his gruff vocals tussle with Emily’s ethereal (those tension of opposites again) and the two conspire to make an arresting affair. Two more versions of ‘Misery Loves Company’ are include on the physical release, including a beautiful piano based, parred back version plus a more raucous rendition which brings the set to a grandiose conclusion.
On Fire In Me you can hear Letters Sent Home really upping their game in a bid to take on the world. My only (minor) gripe is that this EP is too short, but hopefully their next move will be a full-length album.
- Fire In Me is released via Hassle Records on 16th December 2022 (and is available here).
- Official Website
Track List Physical:
- Born To Die
- Misery Love Company (Featuring Joel Quartuccio)
- Misery Loves Company (Stripped)
- Misery Loves Company (LSH Version)
Track List Digital:
- Born To Die
- Misery Love Company (Stripped)