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Lettie at Maida Vale, Glastonbury & Harvest at Jimmy's
By Andrew Woodger
BBC Suffolk

Lettie
Age of Solo is Lettie's self-released debut album

Suffolk singer-songwriter Lettie has been given critical backing by the former Bauhaus singer Peter Murphy.

The Framlingham artist uses guitar, keyboards and loop effects in her songs which are co-written with David Baron.

She self-released a debut album called Age Of Solo in 2008 and a year later performed for the BBC Electric Proms.

Lettie said she's a classically-trained pianist: "I'm getting away from intellectual, scored music and creating a sound."

Some critics have already said she's the 'latest Kate Nash/Lily Allen in waiting'. Well, she's certainly female and a singer, but she plays everything herself and is clearly a talent in her own right.

Lettie, who's in her 20s, went to Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham before reading history at Glasgow University.

She moved to London to work the 'alt-folk' and singer-songwriter circuits, although in a fairly unfolky manner she's attracted the attention of Bauhaus's Peter Murphy and Mike Mason of Swallow (1990s 4AD act), who both speak highly of her.

BBC Suffolk speaks highly of her as well and in May 2009, she came in to record a session - and you can hear one of the tracks on this page.

"My favourite part is composing," said Lettie. "I'm classically trained on piano and I didn't pick up the guitar until I was 16.

"I like the idea of approaching an instrument without having the formal background and scientific approach to it."

Lettie in session at BBC Suffolk

Lettie's music is co-written with David Baron, but she performs it herself using looped guitar, beats and vocals as well as keyboards.

On stage, it's all created on the spot using a variety of musical gizmos rather than using backing tapes. Sometimes she performs with a band as well.

Coastal erosion

As well as having a fascination with the history of the blues (her first song was called Mississippi Drowning) and harmonica player Larry Adler, Lettie said her contemporary influences are a mix of Laurie Anderson, Talking Heads and Bob Dylan.

"There are two sides to my music. I'm very interested in electronic and quite upbeat stuff which could almost crossover into the Mali, quite fast type of music.

"And there's my acoustic, raw, Bob Dylan side. With my new work I'm trying to put them together in a more confident way - marrying the two together."

Paved with gold?

Lettie was a victim of the recession in 2009.

"After two years working as a private secretary in someone's house, I was given my notice. I made a little bit of money and that's what I'm living on right now.

"I'm living with my aunt [in London] and I'm helping her and she's helping me at the moment.

"Things like music help at these times - even if you can't buy it you can listen to it on MySpace or the radio."

You'll see from Lettie's website that she's got a fascination with vintage postcards.

Lettie
For more tracks from Lettie, visit her MySpace pages

"I am obsessed with postcards, but it's another thing I'm thinking of selling to get through these tough times! I do have thousands and I send one out with every CD order.

"I had a few spooky stories. I sent one to someone from Sheffield and he told me it was of a building he was going to that very evening.

"The music is a bit like going into one of these postcards - they're a little bit surreal I'd like to think."

In 2008, she released her debut album Age Of Solo on Outerworld Records and, at the time of writing, if you order it from her website or MySpace you'll get a free copy of her acoustic album Everyman.

"My ultimate dream is to get my music on a film...."

Is David Lynch listening?

Lettie at the BBC Electric Proms

Lettie at Maida Vale
Lettie performed three tracks for the BBC Electric Proms

In October 2009 BBC Suffolk Introducing... put Lettie forward for the annual Electric Proms, which showcases some of the more diverse and pioneering talents from the world of music.

Dermot O'Leary fell for her charms and invited Lettie to record a session for him at the world famous Maida Vale studios in London.

You can watch video of Lettie's three tracks as well as a diary of her day on the Electric Proms website.

In 2010, she played at the BBC Introducing tent at Glastonbury .

In September 2010, she'll be back in home territory performing at Harvest At Jimmy's food and music festival at Jimmy Doherty's pig farm at Wherstead near Ipswich.




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