“This record is dedicated to Orlene Adams Hill. Although I’ve never really known her. In fact, she isn’t even alive anymore nor was she when I first ‘met’ her. I’ve never truly met her, but still that’s how it felt for me. I was privileged, not destined, to have found her personal prayer book, called “Common Prayer”, in a thrift store in Austin, TX. With her personal notes, favorite prayer (cut and pasted on the first page) and even her death notice from the local news paper in it.
She began to stand for what’s wrong with me. What might be wrong with you. What’s wrong with everything in the world. But through my eyes. She IS the sorrow, anger, struggle, anxiety, naivety and above all the (lack of) love that’s being expressed and felt throughout this record. I gave this woman a voice to create the illusion that I wasn’t the one doing all the howling. This record is a thorough discussion between me and her. The way ‘she’ confronts me and talks to/with me in this record is pure coping. It’s everything to prevent from going insane. “
Here they are again. Back from their long “Post-Historic” tour through the better part of Europe and USA, DEATH LETTERS releases another new album, “Common Prayers”. Produced by frontman Duende Ariza Lora, recorded and mixed by Jochem Jacobs (Textures) – a beautiful, intense cooperation between two soulmates.
Duende explains the story behind “Common Prayers”: “In March 2011 I was in a thrift store in Austin, TX. With old guitars from the ‘20’s/30’s, classic vinyl singles, but also furniture like old closets, chairs and mirrors. On a closet there was this little red prayer book with a golden cross and the name “Orlene Adams Hill” written on it and on the side it said “Common Prayer”. When I opened it, I opened it on the page (139) where there was a folded piece of newspaper. It suddenly fell out of the book and it really felt like it whirled onto the floor in slowmotion. When I picked it up, I read it and saw that it was the death notice of this woman called Orlene Adams Hill. It had a picture and everything and it was SO beautifully written. After reading the death notice numerous times, and almost being obsessed by it, I started studying the little red prayer book even more. And what I found was all these personal notes on little pieces of paper in the back of the book. I immediately saw that the paper she had written it on was really from the time she lived in (early 1900’s). I was completely captivated by this little prayer book, and I couldn’t quite get over it that whole American tour. Well, I still can’t get over it, to be honest.”
In a time where everything needs to be fast and compact, previous album of Death Letters, “Post-Historic”, has had a very long breath. In March 2011, the guys played SXSW – this was the kick-off of a very long “Post-Historic Tour”, covering Dutch, Norwegian and German festivals as well as club and festival in Finland. In October, they returned to the United States, taking part in the Culture Collide Festival in Los Angeles and the CMJ Festival in New York, and touring the West Coast. In the meantime, their album was played on 60 US radio stations, charting at number 1 on one of them. Most favourite track was the song “I Wish I Could Steal a Sunset”, owing its popularity to the fact that it was included in the official tracklisting for the Electronic Arts game NHL12, with fellow bands Anthrax, Judas Priest, Bush and Beady Eye.
In May 2012 “Post-Historic” was released in Germany; in September 2012 “Post-Historic” was released in the UK by Stressed Sumo Records, the label of Therapy?’s drummer, followed by 10-date UK tour. UK magazines Rock Sound and Big Cheese Magazine embraced the band with lots of praise in their reviews, such as: “Post-Historic is something of an enigma; a real amalgam of indie, rock, hardcore and postrock, yet it fully fits – and deserves – its classy title.” (Big Cheese Magazine, oktober 2012).
The band played as support act for Enter Shikari, went on tour in the UK with Anneke van Giersbergen (former singer of The Gathering) and for a full month they toured with the Finnish quartet Disco Ensemble, on a tour mostly through Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Czech Republic.
“Ich kann nur sagen – wow.”
“Blistering Dutch duo unleash the noise”
“Post-Historic is something of an enigma; a real amalgam of indie, rock, hardcore and postrock, yet it fully fits – and deserves – its classy title.”
Big Cheese Magazine – Oct 2012
“It’s a great piece of work, which never compromises to 1 style.”
Rock Sound – Sept 2012
“Most impressive is the wonderfully atmospheric soundscapes they manage to attain with just guitar and drums and, likewise, the level of energy and intensity when they heavy it up. And the audience seem to love ’em judging by the loud cheers and applause they receive. It’s certainly deserved. (…)Transcending any obvious categorisation, their tunes span a diverse spectrum from post-rock ambient melancholy right through to bursts of riff-heavy aggressive mania and everything in-between.(………….), Death Letters’ real strength is in their adept songwriting and its execution in a live context which makes the most of their minimal set-up.”
“Unbelievably, the righteous racket created by Dutch post-rockers Death Letters is the product of just two people; singer/guitarist Duende Ariza Lora and drummer Victor Brandt have, with the help of former Dandy Warhols and …Trail of Dead producer Chris Smith, created a sophomore album of blistering power yet restrained aggression that deserves to enjoy a long future as a classic of the genre.” 9/10
Shout4Music – Sept 2012
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