Album release: Good Fortune, Bad Weather by Lettie
Release date: May 21, 2012
Label: Outerworld Records
“Electro-pop as honey-sweet as you’ll hear” – The Guardian
“Lettie’s songs are a masterclass in avant-pop” – Wears The Trousers
On May 21, Lettie releases her new album, Good Fortune, Bad Weather, an incredible piece of electro-pop and a masterclass in songwriting that nearly didn’t see the light of day.
Lettie is a “memory collector”, obsessed with collecting pieces of the past in the forms of books, postcards, second hand shop finds and newspaper clippings. This comes from her sense of ‘Saudade’ – a unique Galician-Portuguese word that refers to a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. This memory collecting and sense of nostalgia haunts Good Fortune, Bad Weather, which despite its sophisticated and futuristic production, is filled with yearning melodies, lyrics that obsess over the past and classic synth sounds from a bygone era.
This album’s journey began several years ago, with a chance online encounter in 2006 with American producer and composer David Baron. This led to an invitation to record two albums in the US; without any promotion these two self-released records – Age of Solo and Everyman – started to get some serious attention. There were a number of song placements on television in the US and Europe, and Lettie was asked by Dermot O’Leary to do a BBC Radio 2 Maida Vale session for Electric Proms Introducing.
Subsequently, she was invited by Peter Murphy (ex-Bauhaus) to be a special guest on his European tour; she also appeared as special guest on tours with Chris Difford (Squeeze) and Roger O’Donnell (The Cure). She was also featured in a BBC TV documentary, Hello Glastonbury. These positive musical developments were taking place against a surreal backdrop: to pay the bills, Lettie was working in a wide mix of quirky jobs, working as a personal assistant to 80s pop stars; being a 5 star hotel chamber maid; appearing as an extra in Harry Potter movies, and picking apples with the drummer from Hawkwind.
Sadly, tragedy also accompanied the release of Lettie’s first two albums: right before they came out, Baron’s daughter Tamara, who was not yet two years old, suddenly passed away. In 2009 Lettie lost her dad after a long illness. These two sad events arguably contribute to the sense of longing which permeates Lettie’s music.
Following the release of her first two albums, two difficult years were then spent back in the UK with a writer and producer in Oxford; a technical malfunction with his equipment at Glastonbury and continued panics over money meant that Lettie decided to call it quits on what would have been her third album, Other Days. She abandoned the project completely.
Thankfully, David Baron persuaded her to return to the US to record and co-write some more music; the result was her third album, Good Fortune, Bad Weather.
Good Fortune, Bad Weather has some great musicians performing on it including Danny Blume, Zachary Alford (Bowie, Springsteen, Stefani), Sara Lee (League of Gentleman, B52s, Gang of Four, Ani diFranco), D. James Goodwin and many others.
Lettie is a strong personality, and with this record she proves she’s an equally strong songwriter too. From the irresistible bounce of Lucky to the vulnerable and ethereal Bitter, to the anthemic and widescreen highlight Sanctuary, it’s hard to argue with her undoubted skill for melody and her ability to turn the past into extraordinary pieces of music.