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I’d often wondered what happened to Georgia’s female-fronted foursome Parade, founded in 2004 in an Athens living room by fetching singer Carrie Hodge and her bassist friend Emily Martin. Following their 2005 debut LP The Red Button and 2007’s Answer Me EP (I called the latter “pretty and eclectic” in Big Takeover issue 61), they vanished like D.B. Cooper parachuting over the Pacific Northwest. But we can finally call off the search dogs, because Hodge has resurfaced in this brand new Atlanta-based quartet. And judging by this debut 7” single, Love Letter is a welcome return. If this single’s A-side is any indication, Love Letter displays more streamlined focus and ferocity than Hodge’s former band. “Imaginative Eyes” is a derailing, detonating powderkeg, strengthened by Shane Spencer’s percolating, piercing guitar and the tight, taut rhythms of bassist Shannon Mulvaney (of Atlanta’s long-running Magnapop) and drummer Brian Hunter. Bearing no trace of her charming Parade-era chirp, Hodge describes what sounds like a disturbing dream in a devious, devil-rousing howl, like PJ Harvey or Kristin Hersh possessed by a paranormal curse.
The longer flip side, “Lie We Love,” is more lurching and lugubrious, with Hodge’s anguished and anxious voodoo-spirit wail wafting through the band’s galumphing, goopy beat. Like Parade, Love Letter won’t be fit into narrow pegs, but we’ll need more music to pin them down. Based on this smoldering slab of wax, I say bring it on! (loveletteratl.bandcamp.com)
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