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Letters Sent Home - Forever Undone

Album artwork for Letters Sent Home's debut album, Forever Undone.

Letters Sent Home -a genre-bending band that mixes sounds of alt-rock, pop rock, dark pop, and post-hardcore- is based out of a small town in Northern Germany and they are releasing their debut record, Forever Undone, under SharpTone Records, on April 12, 2024.

After many singles and EPs through the years, including a few singles collaborating with Joel Quartuccio of Being As An Ocean and Linda Battilani of Halflives, new fans and old fans are eager to take a look at what sound Letters Sent Home will bring to this record as they always deliver something different and fresh with everything they put out.

Letters Sent Home has been getting traction since signing to Sharptone Records late last year and one of the lead singles of this record, "Ignorance" with a feature from Dead Lakes. As for what I can say for this debut record, they're taking a new approach to some new sounds that I wish worked on more, but I think that this will make Letters Sent Home stand out in this big upcoming wave of new bands and musicians emerging.

The album starts off with the track titled "Earthquake." It starts off with like a little radio/vintage sound and then boom! Hits with the drums, piano, and the guitars. What makes this stand out for the first song is that Emily -the band's lead singer- she kind of does a little bit of rapping but still carries an intense build-up with the pre-chorus and her high notes throughout the song. It's something new that I kind of figured they would get into some point.

Next Up is "Request Denied." When I first heard "Request Denied," I noticed it had more pop sound than the typical darker tone songs they have made in the past. With similar sounds from bands like Against the Current, Halflives, and Stand Atlantic, it's a sound that gets you to bop your head from start to finish. Even with fun playful lyrics like, "Haha, fuck it!"

"Ignorance" featuring Dead Lakes has to be my favourite of the singles on the record. It starts off with some electronics and drums but gets into Emily’s high vocal registry. It does lead into it with Dead Lakes dynamic with Emily, with some raspy vocals from Dead Lakes and with a catchy chorus. But what gets me every time on this song is Emily's vocals in the pre-chorus when she sings “Did you know that you cannot eat, When you plant something you can't reap?, Trees are falling onto the streets.” It gives me chills every time hearing those lines as it’s almost similar vocal style I hear from older rock female vocalists from bands like Jen Ledger (Skillet) and Lacey Sturm (Flyleaf) with a hard-hitting final chorus.

"Pedestal" featuring Chris Zuehlke from the band Half Me didn’t really "wow" me like the previous tracks have. It's a similar sound as "Ignorance," but a little bit more toned down. It starts off with a big quick drum part with a huge orchestra of violins but gets into a slower tone vocals you hear from Emily. The instrumental is very large in this song and love the different dynamic that Chris brought to it as when he gets into it the style completes changes. "Elements" is a song I still have no idea what the genre exactly is. It's like alt-rock with dubstep and electronics embedded into it. Honestly, I think Jon Cass from As Everything Unfolds had to play some kind of role in the track, as that's something up his alley. "Elements" is similar to something you see one of the DJs like Kayzo does with his collabs with rock and metal bands. If you're a fan of Bad Omens x Kayzo but want something a bit lighter, check out this track.

"Hysteria" starts off with an eerie guitar intro that I was very intrigued and I kind of hoped this song was going to get into with their previous dark pop works, but then Emily gets into that rapping again and that style switches right away. It's kind of almost a similar vocal style as you see with pop singers like Olivia Rodrigo. But what makes me love this song is the chorus with some references, I think even from the show Euphoria into the lyrics, that I can make out of it. It has some of that dark pop element to that chorus, but more with this new style that you hear from them. "Seven" is the appropriately titled seventh track on the record with a good pop-rock instrumental similar to "Request Denied." But to myself, the song doesn't hold up like "Request Denied" has. It's a good bop to listen to but a very generic song. As much as I love Emily's high vocals but it went back and forth with the dynamic of each song.

"Gaslight" featuring ROYALIST didn't really "wow" me initially, but after a few listens, it grew on me. The song starts off with a similar style as "Request Denied" and "Ignorance" did -the previous pop-rock sound. Nonetheless, the song does feel like it's more or less an album track. I'm curious on what everyone from the Letter Sent Home fans will think of this song.

"Sadists" brings back the electronic elements but with some of those rap vocals from Emily, but this song perfects it just right. I would consider it an almost Mike Shinoda slower-tone rapping style that she was going for. But as I mentioned, the song has that weird electronics mixed in. I'm so curious to see how they incorporate this one into a live show.

The final track on the record is "I hope I die first." It's more a less a heartbreak song with some instrumental themes you hear from bands like Breaking Benjamin and Staind and more of those alt-metal bands. I kind of wish the band went more of this style more on the record, but I'm also happy they did switch up the themes and sounds throughout to keep us on edge to give listeners a "what's going to be next?" vibe to it.

As a debut record for Letters Sent Home, it shows promise but could benefit from further refinement. I wonder about the songs that didn't make the cut for this album and if they could have added more depth to the record. The band has taken a different direction with this album compared to their previous singles and EPs. Hopefully, this record will gain them traction overseas and showcase the true potential of Letters Sent Home.


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