French Letters are back at it… Another year, another album. And one more chance to catch us playing live in our element. If you hadn’t noticed, the shows have slowed while our output has grown. Seattle music is grinding a rough transmission these days, and while we never struggle to express ourselves as a band, the venues and opportunities to do so have become limited around this rock roll town.
While the scene we love seems to have dissolved around us this past year, we have been hard at work on a new record. A record that finds us as a unit in top fighting form.
We are pleased to invite you to the release for the first single off of this album. It’s a little ditty people are wont to say, “It sounds like early Stones and Tom Waits, without trying to sound like either.” In our world, and in this uncertain time of local musical futures, that sounds like a compliment.
Please join us at the Sunset with our rock roll brethren Death By Steamship and Whiskey Radio as we debut the single “All Over and Under the Rhine” for you.
We spent a productive day at Egg Studios recording the single and B-side for our upcoming full length. The A-side is the bluesy “All Over And Under The Rhine”, featuring the gold tone growl of Eric Patten’s saxophone and the soulful, smokey back-up vocals of Kelly Young. The B-side is a spoken word piece you might remember from when we first began playing shows, a heavy track titled “Klinik”.
We’ll be back at Egg Studios in January 2014 to record the rest of the new album:
1. I Already Know How This Ends
2. Mea Culpa, Maybe
3. Piss Throne
5. Cocktail Talk
6. All Over & Under The Rhine
7. Demonology of Desire
In five tracks and one poem our new EP, “Here There Be Serpents“, presents the evolution of French Letters’ rock ‘n roll sound in a smart, swaggering Molotov cocktail of poetry, blues & Americana with take-no-prisoners guitar rock that is fun, dangerous and apologizes for nothing.
Featuring incredible cover art by J. T. Dockery, physical copies and digital downloads of the album are available at www.frenchlettersbandcamp.com.
Have a listen:
We’ve just completed the recording and mixing phase for our forthcoming EP, “Here There Be Serpents”, at the legendary Egg Studios with Conrad Uno and there’s no doubt about it, French Letters fucking love rock ‘n roll. Cowbell hits, rock & roll kicks and dueling guitar solos all tracked to warm analogue tape. We’ve had so much fun recording at Egg and can’t wait to share the culmination with you.
A short documentary about the recording process for French Letters’ new single, “Los Alamos“, which includes footage from live shows, an interview with frontman Michael Crossley and a fuckin’ cougar.
French Letters follows up our acclaimed debut, “In Tongues”, with a new single called “Los Alamos”, a taut pop tune constructed around the idea of escape, geographic redemption, and sonic salvation. The single is backed with the B-side, “Annie, Queen of Belltown”, a suicide pact about unrequited lovers doomed to linger in the beer-soaked pinball bars just north of downtown.
The underlying theme of both tracks is escape through the automobile, the first to redemption, the latter to death. While French Letters have toyed with the constructs of pop and our first real foray into verse/chorus songwriting, we’ve come up with two songs uniquely American in both candor and character. The protagonist in “Los Alamos” pleads to either a god or a girl that he will be a better man if he can just escape his current residence and the demons that haunt him in Ohio. The protagonist in “Annie, Queen of Belltown” promises his troubled young lover that he can give her a better life if she will just allow him to, until he realizes he has nothing much to offer her outside of a romantic notion and ultimately, death.
While the “car song” is certainly nothing new in rock n’ roll, French Letters manage to take it to our own unique and brooding place, giving a nod to the Springsteen tracks which inspired the lyrics before venturing out to blaze our own territory. Many bands have singers that strive to become poets, all to a mixed effect. French Letters take that paradigm in reverse with a poet becoming a singer. The result is a more fully realized pop song with its finger firmly placed on the pulse of nuance and metaphor.
Our next show is August 5th at Sunset Tavern in Ballard. A documentary short about the making of “Los Alamos” as well as an interview with front man, Michael Crossley, will screen before the set.