Letting Up Despite Great Faults
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Letting Up Despite Great Faults

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF | AFTRA

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Alternative Dream Pop

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"“blissful, shimmery...”"

Letting Up Despite Great Faults have premiered their music video for "Teenage Tide," a blissful, shimmery track from their new five-song EP Paper Crush. Frontman Mike Lee describes the song as "a struggle with who you thought you wanted to be, masked and sometimes deceived with a sense of nostalgia and daydreaming," and in the video, that message rings true. It follows a group of carefree 20-somethings, running and drinking the day away as they lose themselves in a dreamy, late-summer evening. - Rolling Stone


""In Steps: MP3 of the Day""

MP3 of the Day - July 4th. - AOL / Spinner


""A-""

Thoughts: Listening to Letting Up Despite Great Faults is like stepping into a hazy bedroom where the emotions of its inhabitant literally line the walls. Think back to your own teenage bedroom, posters adorn the walls, ... - Poptarts Suck Toasted


""get your copy of their critically acclaimed self-titled album because a big chunks of your musical repository will remain missing forever without it.""

I know I'm late since everyone had their say on this, but it's too good to not mention one more time. Letting Up Despite Great Faults is a band that borrows its undefined-by-one-word sound from countless genres including Shoegaze, Indie, Noise-Pop, Electronica, Ambient, Unconventional Folk and Synth among many surprising styles spicing their good-for-your-health audio products appealing to everyone from the fans of Radio Dept., Air, New Order, Shinichi Osawa to Mum, M83, The Legends and the likes.
If I was to describe their music in one sentence it would be: A sound equivalent in feel good to an unforgettable memory of the perfect love making.
Please get your copy of their critically acclaimed self-titled album because a big chunks of your musical repository will remain missing forever without it.

http://www.ohhcrapp.net/2010/01/letting-up-despite-great-faults.html - Ohh! Crapp


""They meld traditional instrumentation and electronic elements with beautiful airy vocals into a seamless work of art.""

Letting Up Despite Great Faults is an LA based band. Their reps sent us their entire self titled album the other day and I am loving it! A great mid-tempo shoegaze/electronic hybrid record that will appeal to fans of bands like Radio Dept., Yo La Tengo, M83, My Bloody Valentine, etc. They meld traditional instrumentation and electronic elements with beautiful airy vocals into a seamless work of art. Some tracks are more electro-poppy and others more shoegazey, but all excellent. A great late night record!
So far my favorites are album opener 'In Steps' (my fav), 'Folding Under Stories Told', the shoe-gazey 'The Colors Aren't You or Me', 'So Fast: You', 'Photograph Shakes' and album closer 'Release', but there's not a bad one here. No filler to be found. I also like that the songs are all 3-4 min's long. Really what's the point of much more than that for good pop songs.
Here they are the first three tracks from the album cleared for our readers to sample/download. The album is out now on Itunes/Amazon. If you like these odds are you'll like the whole thing and should pick this up pronto. It's climbing on the CMJ college charts as we speak.

http://www.offtheradarmusic.com/2009/12/letting-up-despite-great-faults.html - Off The Radar


""beautiful, lolling music""

Letting Up Despite Great Faults is an electronic-pop group from Los Angeles, Calif. that makes beautiful, lolling music with whispery vocals. Formed by Mike Lee in 2004, the six-piece band blends sampled sounds and polyrhythms with mandolin, cello, guitar and keyboards... Their latest release, Movement was released in August 2006. The featured track is "I Hear You Drowning But I'm Tied."

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5685708 - NPR


""Bashfully bittersweet shoegaze from L.A""

Who: Letting Up Despite Great Faults
What: Bashfully bittersweet shoegaze from Los Angeles that wear their hearts on every inch of their body.
Sounds like: Programmed beats, droning, washed out guitars and softly whispered vocals. As if Sweden’s The Radio Dept. dropped the cold, Scandinavian front and embraced their inner lovesick puppy.
RIYL: The Radio Dept., New Order, Cut Copy, The Russian Futurists, M83, The Lassie Foundation, Lali Puna, most bands signed to Morr Music and Labrador Records
Need to know: They’re independent, but judging by their new self-titled album they won’t be for long. “Disasters Are Okay” from their debut EP Movement was featured in an episode of One Tree Hill (season four’s “Ashes of Dreams You Let Die” to be specific), so technically, they’ve actually been played on MuchMusic. They did a nice job remixing Passion Pit’s “Little Secrets.”
Track: “In Steps” is the sort of dreamy indie pop that boys want to make and girls want to fall in love with with synths that ooze romance, guitar lines straight out of New Order’s Power, Corruption & Lies and vocals that provide as much warmth as a bearskin rug by an open fire.

http://blog.thenewmusic.net/earworm-letting-up-despite-great-faults-in-steps/ - Earworm, MuchMusic.com


""a delectable electro-shoegaze, sounding like a perfect marriage of M83 and Slowdive.""

The buzz of Letting Up Despite Great Faults is getting louder by the day.
The debut album from singer/songwriter Michael Lee and his band serves up the listeners a delectable electro-shoegaze, sounding like a perfect marriage of M83 (QRO live review) and Slowdive. Often compared to Radio Dept and Postal Service, Letting Up also recalls The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (QRO live review), Boy in Static and Ides of Space. However, the L.A. band got their name from Blonde Redhead's (QRO live review) song, "Loved Despite Great Faults".
It takes several listens to notice the seams between the tracks on Letting Up. "In Steps", which seems to be the blogosphere favorite, starts off the album in a mirthful stride. With a unified sound consisting of analogous fuzzy, airy vocals and homogenous instrument schemes in all the tracks, one has to pry apart each song with a slight degree of separation of tempo and melody. The listener could drift away in Letting Up's warm daydream pop and forget that it's already song number nine (appropriately titled "Release") - the end of the album.
Over a half dozen singers and musicians contributed on Letting Up, but Lee's right hand turns out to be a sequencing software, Ableton Live, which he taught himself from Internet tutorials. The recordings went through a final inspection with mastering engineer Jeff Lipton (Andrew Bird, Spoon, The Magnetic Fields).
Having already had a song ("Disasters Are Okay") from their debut EP Movement, feature in an episode of One Tree Hill, Letting Up is poised to gain fans far beyond its native California. After all, some of us wouldn't mind a sunny export - especially when winter's at our door.

http://www.qromag.com/reviews/album_reviews/letting_up_despite_great_faults_:_self-titled/ - QRO Magazine


""awash in wistful melodies, layers of shoegaze guitars, ringing synthesizers and a static-y drum machine.""

Had Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello known what impact putting programmed beats to blushing lyrics sung with a tender voice would have on music, they could have made a fortune with the patent. L.A.'s Letting Up Despite Great Faults show their softness even in their name, not to mention Postal Service as an influence, along with the other 300 or so artists listed on their MySpace page. Thankfully, they're wise enough to look at more than a few of those names for inspiration on their self-titled album. The follow-up to an EP that Gibbard himself gave thumbs up to, Letting Up is awash in wistful melodies, layers of shoegaze guitars, ringing synthesizers and a static-y drum machine. "In Steps" follows the Radio Dept. blueprint by providing feel-good melancholy with a snapping beat, droopy bass and pensive vocals, whereas "Pause" swells with analogue synths and placid strumming like M83 often does. But LUDGF know better than to fall into any sort of formula. "Sun Drips" may pick up an acoustic, but they subtly incorporate keyboard strokes and a breezy hum so that it doesn't spoil the mood, and "Release" is a straight, mid-tempo ballad immersed in a wash of distortion and reverb. Letting Up Despite Great Faults prove their name wrong by turning in an album short on faults and high on that warm fuzzy they intended to spark.

http://www.exclaim.ca/musicreviews/latestsub.aspx?csid1=138&csid2=870&fid1=42554 - Exclaim! Magazine


""4/5 Stars""

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It is also the most dangerous when unregulated, especially in reference to the creation process for profit. I doubt very much Jobs was flattered when people tried to "imitate" the iPod, but they did, in droves, because money is most people's endgame. In the post Owl City world, critical minds are even more sharply in tune to the sins of kids imitating the Postal Service and their quaint, emotive electro-pop. Owl City made some poor choices, including ripping off album artwork from real art, and copying the sound so efficiently, it was nearly indistinguishable from Gibbard himself.
Letting Up Despite Great Faults is unfocused electro-pop with a touch of sentimentality, so it is definitely treading in the territory of derivative work. But the fuzz that coats the record is a little sloppier than Gibbard's tunes, a little more shoegaze and less crystal-clear synthesizer. Washed out vocals urge the listener to stand closer and think harder when absorbing the beats; which actually seem like half bedroom-laptop concoctions, and half LA style scuzz. M83 definitely played a part here as well. But one of the things I like about this band is that the various influences coalesce more than they step on each others toes, and instead of sounding like a rip-off, throughout the record, they develop a style of their own.
The interesting bits come with the denouement; a highly stylized series of digital compositions that sound like the lovechild of a drugged up Thom Yorke and Imogen Heap or something like that... dreamy bells and repetitive crunchy drums, circular lyrics in melodic limbo, a wet dream worthy of the Garden State soundtrack (a few years too late, LUDGF). Although its a little lo-fi for commercials, and a little manic depressive for television shows, the album is an interesting listen. Isn't that a novel idea? Music for us to simply enjoy, instead of as an enticement for something else.
What is also nice about the self-titled is the sense that LUDGF moves somewhere, and winds up more sing-songy than electro-poppy (defeating the Postal Service comparison entirely). By the time "Sun Drips" and "Release" hit, the album takes a turn towards Pains Of Being Pure At Heart levels of fuzziness, with real drums, guitar riffs, etc. With the band stripped down, we can reflect on the progression; an album of relationship chatter and cute-ish appeals, both head-bop worthy and sonically pleasant, no longer questionably similar to any one band.
Its easily digestible, sure. But in todays world of having the avant garde crammed down your throat, isn't it nice to have something easy to enjoy? -joe puglisi

http://www.baeblemusic.com/albumreview/letting-up-despite-great-faults-letting-up-despite-great-faults - Baeble Music


""feels like walking through the park on a sunny day in a sepia world""

I've got to give props to Lee from Knox Road for pointing my ears towards L.A. indie outfit Letting Up Despite Great Faults. Undeterred by a rather long band name, this group from the coastlines of California formulate dreamy synth pop well worth those few extra syllables. I have yet to listen to their previous releases but if they sound anything like their latest self-titled LP, consider them spun.
For a band listing nearly every important musical act and relevant indie rock outfit imaginable as an influence, I can't escape the electronic realm of fuzz and delusion M83 envoke. That's never a bad thing around here, especially since Letting Up don't spend entire tracks gazing into an endless array of shoes. Instead, meshing their ambient tones with inviting male/female vocals in a format similar to The Postal Service.
"In Steps" feels like walking through the park on a sunny day in a sepia world, while "Our Younger Noise" sends you to a twilight beach hand-in-hand with a significant other. The group do well in fluctuating the mood of each track, careful not to become whisked away by the pop sound often over-saturating electronic music.

http://iguessimfloating.blogspot.com/2009/10/mp3-letting-up-despite-great-faults-in.html - I Guess I'm Floating


""an unexpected pleasure""

To say that it never rains in Southern California might be an overstatement, but it's still an unexpected pleasure to hear something so unmistakably autumnal from the season-challenged state. Letting Up Despite Great Faults, a Los Angeles-based band, effectively capture an overcast mood with "In Steps", the opening track from their forthcoming self-titled album. Layering lush synth and a shimmering New Order guitar tone, "Steps" prettily evokes the tipping point from full bloom to slow decay, as the warm summer days give way to a wet, windy fall. While the shoegaze-y indie pop of M83 probably represents the closest contemporary reference point, Letting Up's melodic sensibility is distinguished by careful and decisive plotting-- save for the muted, billowing vocals. Overall, "Steps"' subtle shading suggests maybe there really is no such thing as an endless summer, even in Southern California.

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/11540-in-steps/ - Pitchfork


""Indie Pop Catnip""

This L.A.-via-Austin dream-pop outfit's second album comes fully stocked with the sort of minimal, richly melodic New Order-esque guitar patterns and strobe-lit flashbacks that make for pure indie pop catnip.

Letting Up Despite Great Faults is really the perfect moniker for this L.A.-via-Austin dream-pop outfit, one that draws attention to its modest intents while demanding a certain ideological investment: Even the act of uttering the band's full name in casual conversation requires a commitment to proper diction. Despite their deceptively daydreamy demeanor, they're a band that makes you work for it. While their second album, Untogether, strongly suggests their definition of an existential crisis amounts to not being able to decide whether their favorite New Order song is "Age of Consent" or "Thieves Like Us", frontman Michael Lee keeps his hushed, delicate voice at a considerable distance, forcing you to wade through the songs' fuzz-covered jangle and bright synth shimmer to get at their emotional core.

At a time when like-minded contemporaries such as M83 and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart have revealed the commercial potential-- or at least steady festival guarantees-- that can be mined from mid-80s British underground sounds, Letting Up's commitment to their forebears' downsized dimensions and twee-as-fuck temperament seems positively defiant. The band gets considerable mileage out of simplicity: Untogether comes fully stocked with the sort of minimal but richly melodic Bernard Sumner-esque guitar patterns ("Scratch", "Take My Jacket Pauline") and dry-iced, strobe-lit Hacienda flashbacks ("Postcard", "Bulletproof Girl") that make for pure indie pop catnip. And despite working within intimate, drum-machined parameters, the band evinces a greatness of depth to its sound-- upon hearing the baritone guitar hook underpinning the effervescent opener "Visions", it's natural to mentally substitute in a cello line.

But while Letting Up are game to mix up their production palette-- the stuttering breakbeat chorus of "The Best Part" practically verges on drum'n'bass-- the impact of these 10 songs is dulled by Lee's uniformly smeared, sighing vocals, which are too verbose to serve merely as texture, but too sedate to convincingly communicate the interpersonal narratives seemingly at play here. Whether the lyrics call for a tender affirmation like "the best part is you," or a biting rebuke like "I can't believe you said those things to me," the mood is one of constant, hazy-headed serenity; even the secondary vocals of keyboardist Annah Fisette prove to be more of a complement than a counterpoint, a squandered opportunity to introduce some he-said/she-said tension. Ultimately, listening to Untogether feels a lot like receiving a particularly pressing phone call from a significant other in the middle of student-disco dancefloor: You assume what's being said is important and impassioned, but it's hard to fully connect with the message. - Pitchfork


"Paper Crush Review"

L.A.’s Letting Up Despite Great Faults spent a great deal of effort on their self-titled debut album reminding listeners that it’s possible to translate the moody highs and lows of New Order and The Radio Dept. into something fresh and immediate (see “In Steps” and “Our Younger Noise” in particular). Two years later and the band returns with Paper Crush, an ambitious and energetic EP filled with even more urgency, hooks and that sweet spot where twee-pop meets the soaring textures of the Creation Records catalog. That’s not easy company to be aligned with, but if there was ever a band to spearhead the recent renaissance of dream-pop fever then this is the act to get invested in. Don’t get me wrong, LUDGF don’t attempt to bring about any revolution or rekindle a bygone era of music. Paper Crush is a sound owned by its creators.

Mike Lee’s vocal delivery possesses a youthful, carefree tone that eases its way into the songs. He’s not too direct, not too hushed, and fits perfectly with textured keys and sustained guitars. Lee is also bolder and at the forefront of these mixes than on previous releases. This creates an added feel of spaciousness that’s instantly recognizable from the band’s debut album — allowing heavier guitar progressions, propelling electronic rhythms and candy-coated synths to take shape right in front of you. It’s not a maturity issue we’re dealing with here; it’s simply a vocalist and his band getting better.

Every track on this release is solid — including a few potential singles — all ripe for remixes and club treatments. Beginning with the jagged four-chord progression and gradual bloom of bright synth melodies, lead off track “Repeating Hearts” sounds robust and exhilarating. “Teenage Tide” is led by a slinky bass line that cruises at a high altitude alongside Lee’s determined vocals, “My teenage war makes me feel alive but tears us in two.” There’s also a static charge of aggressive noise-pop on “I Feel You Happen”, which, now that I think about it, is a much cooler way of asking someone out on a date.

In my experience, an EP is usually designed for experimentation and/or reserves room for tracks that may not be album-ready. Paper Crush builds a bridge. It’s a confident sonic gateway that points to where the band is headed. But more importantly, it reveals a streamlined version of Letting Up Despite Great Faults, who are obviously capable of creating one hell of a sophomore album. words - Aquarium Drunkard


Discography

Untogether (2012)
- "Visions" premiere on Paste Magazine:
http://pastemagazine.com/blogs/av/2012/07/song-premiere-letting-up-despite-great-faults---vi.html

Paper Crush EP (2011)
- "Teenage Tide" feat. on an episode of 90210: http://www.cwtv.com/music/90210/season-4/episode-414
- "Teenage Tide" feat. on Facebook's new social apps video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3b94kFBah8
- "Teenage Tide" official music video world premiered on RollingStone.com: http://www.rollingstone.com/videos/new-and-hot/letting-up-despite-great-faults-teenage-tide-20110831
- Feat. on NPR as up and coming artist: http://www.npr.org/2011/10/25/141658003/letting-up-despite-great-faults-on-world-cafe-next

Letting Up Despite Great Faults [LP] (2009)
- Peaked #106 on CMJ
- "In Steps" reviewed on Pitchfork: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/11540-in-steps/

Movement EP (2006)
- "Disasters Are Okay" feat. on One Tree Hill: http://www.oth-music.com/episode419.html

Photos

Bio

Indiepop / Dreampop
Austin, TX / Los Angeles, CA

Letting Up Despite Great Faults is the indie electro-based sonic diary of founding member Mike Lee. Their 2009 self-titled debut LP was an exploration of indiepop melodies, electro beats, and shoegaze guitars. The lead single "In Steps" instantly caught the attention of everyone from Pitchfork to Rolling Stone. With rave reviews and countless blog support, 2011 saw the release of Paper Crush, an EP full of washed synths, hazy guitars, and heartfelt pop that NPR called "both nostalgic and caught in a moment that feels never-ending." Since then, they've continued to refine and expand their sound in their 2nd LP, Untogether, an album that radiates infectious melodies, heartbreaking sentiments, and danceable dreampop.

Band Members