Death Letters - 'Common Prayers'

by CoraOMalley
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on 05 March 2013 in Albums & EPs
Record Label Silent Voice
Rating 9/10

We're not sure which is more fascinating: the story behind Death Letters' ambitious second album, or the music contained within it. Last year's debut 'Post-Historic' was a breath of fresh air, but 'Common Prayers' ups the ante on several levels. Dedicated to Orlene Adams Hill (the band's frontman, Duende Ariza Lora) was inspired by stumbling across her death notice in a thrift shop in Austin in 2011, to sum it up), the 11-track record moves breathlessly between acoustic songs (the title track and the delicate 'Presbyterian Hospital') and blistering math-rock like 'Nomadic Childhood', with more anthemic moments like 'I Am The Coma' and 'Time Or The Satellites' finding room in the album's running order as well, to create a work that's every bit as diverse as what came before it, with both soaring highs and crushing lows (musical and emotional) being documented in the process. Death Letters may only be a duo, but it sounds like there are as many as 6 people in the band at times, the songs' power felt even through the raw production. They set the bar high with 'Post-Historic' last year, but 'Common Prayers' finds that Death Letters are well able to live up to their own standards; this is just as good, if not better.


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