Review Archive

‘Little Letters’ - an intense narrative-driven album from the duo Paper Aeroplanes

(March 09, 2013)

Here we go I can hear it now: ‘That’s not strictly folk music!’ Yes well, each to their own and that Paper Aeroplanesincludes choices and definitions. (I’ve written enough about that over the years.) Call it hook-laden folk or catchy pop-ballads, for my two pennyworth this album deserves a review here because its folk messages are so strong, and what’s more it’s damn good. Little Letters’ is an intense narrative-driven album from the duo Paper Aeroplanes - Sarah Howells and Richard Llewellyn.

This is an album that lays bare personal experiences and sets them out for all to share. Its emotional reminiscences rub shoulders with painful articulations, hopeful expectation and endured resignation. From the sharply written lyric and insistent hook of ‘When The Windows Shook’ with its distressing narrative through the sensual sensitivity of ‘Singing To Elvis’ to the expansive depth of ‘Little Letters’, these are magnetic melodies wrapped in enthralling vocals.  

The more you listen to Paper Aeroplanes the more Sarah’s voice seduces. The heart-rending melancholy of ‘Multiple Love’ lingers long after the last note fades and you’re left with the echo of torn out, searing emotions. That is the essence of this duo – the latent power that pours through their songs - ‘Silence of The Bells’ punches with the force of a full-blooded ballad, while ‘Sleeper Train’ exudes a finely drawn personal passion. By contrast, they also build on a sparkling arrangement with ‘Palm of Your Hand’ to deliver a buoyant slice of folk-pop with a vibrant toe-tapping hook.

‘Little Letters’ releases on 13 May and I heartily recommend that you buy it, then find a quiet undisturbed corner and let it wash over you.

Reviewer: Tim  Carroll

Click here to return to the Review Archive page