Everybody’s got ‘em: those bands you feel just don’t get enough credit. It’s a bittersweet place to be, really. It’s hard to decide which emotion is greater–your earnest desire for the band to catch a big break because you know they deserve it or the borderline egotistical satisfaction that comes with having this yet unclaimed musical gem all to yourself. Full transparency: Letting Up Despite Great Faults is one of those bands for yours truly, so I’ll try and keep it as unbiased as humanly possible.
I find it very hard to believe that they haven’t caught on like wildfire given that they’re enormously talented and that there’s been a vast upswing in the consumption of pop-minded electronic music in the past few years. For those unfamiliar, Letting Up Despite Great Faults is a trio from Los Angeles who have been around for a few years defining their highly addictive electronic shoegaze. Their self-titled debut LP was extremely promising but had its flaws in spots.
The same can be said for their Paper Crush EP, but it’s obvious that this is a band that has grown in the past few years. Their choruses are bigger and more profound, their vocals are smoother than ever, and most importantly for a band in their particular realm of music, the instrumentals are writhing with emotion. The slow, spacey “I Feel You Happen”, worthy of early M83, quickly turns into a shoegaze dream-stunner worthy of The Radio Dept. In its brief 18 minute running time, the EP dabbles in several genres, with stops in straight electronica (“Repeating Hearts”, “Aurora”), noise rock (the aforementioned “I Feel You Happen”), and blissful dream-pop (“Teenage Tide”, arguably the strongest track on the album).
A band that can make such a cohesive sound out of such a hodgepodge of genres is impressive in any light. This isn’t just your dime-a-dozen indie rock band from L.A. There’s something tangibly different about Letting Up, and they show you just what it is they have to offer on Paper Crush. It’s rough around the edges, certainly, but this is a band that should no longer go ignored.