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With the release of their sophomore album, Yearlings, sophisticated indie/pop outfit Dead Letter Chorus have marked a compelling stage in their evolution. On a sonic journey they’ll take you, via a sound honed over three releases now, to a musical space they’ve made their own. It’s a space they’ve been aiming for since their inception in 2007 and a space they may soon leave.
Yearlings is a raw song cycle detailing the highs and lows of a love affair, exploring familiar territory with profound insight. New love, contentment, rot, ruin, hope and all of their satellite emotions delicately weave and wind throughout this collection of sublime vignettes.
Musically complex yet approachable, Yearlings is as intricately-honed as it is compelling. Sweeping, cohesive and eloquent, the album completes the picture that singles ‘Covered By Snow’, ‘Run Wild’ and ‘Yellow House’ slyly hinted at but saved as a surprise.
Recorded between May 2010 and January this year with Canadian producer Les Cooper, Yearlings is indeed the mark of a band moving forward. The result is as Cameron Potts says; Yearlings is succinct, it’s tight and more accurate, a band evolving. “With this album we really wanted to expose the core elements of the songs, the bare melodies that hold a song together,” Potts expands. “At times we’ve fleshed them out with alternate melodies or polyphonic passages, other times we’ve left them bare. We’ve also begun to embrace technology with a wider scope whilst trying to create sounds in a different way. For instance, some of the electric guitars were recorded with a microphone on the actual guitar, in essence picking up the ‘acoustic’ sound of the electric guitar.”
Underpinned for the most part by the sublime vocal harmonising of Cameron Potts and Gabby Huber, Yearlings stretches luxuriously from the slow-build of opener, ‘Covered By Snow’, which evokes comparison to Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion set to a heart-thumping beat, by way of the lusciously evocative ‘All Mine’, through to the sparse and tender ‘Gently Weeping’, showcasing the band’s more introspective side. Added to this is the bouncy pop of ‘Run Wild’, the almost orchestral balladering of ‘I Belong With You’ and the challenging and surprisingly epic, ‘The Poet and the Thief’. This is a record which sees Dead Letter Chorus nail it dead on.
And so, with Yearlings safely under their collective belt, not to mention a burgeoning fanbase both here and in Canada courtesy of smart touring and various festival appearances, Dead Letter Chorus are poised to move even further ahead of the curve.
Yearlings will be released on Friday the 26th of August through ABC Music and Universal Music.