Imaginary People - Dead Letterbox

by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2015-11-26

With the release of Dead Letterbox, Imaginary People have put out one of the strongest albums of 2015. Dylan Von Wagner reveals himself to be an extraordinary songwriter with a great post-punk sound, each song carefully crafted and structured around loud, crunchy guitars, poppy electronics, and a strong, more-than-competent rhythm section.

With their EP release a while back, this band described their sound as Dance Americana, and while the EP validated that, and evidently their live concerts also, Dead Letterbox is much more than just dance music.

It’s no small wonder they did a cover of a Talking Heads song. Wagner’s voice evokes David Byrne each song without quite the edge and goes a little deeper and stronger like Eddie Vedder in his quieter times, but regardless, Wagner’s voice adds brilliantly to the music.

Wagner cites his previous job as a bartender in New York and the compelling content and depth of the lyrics (the dark opening track, ‘Simple Life’ and intriguing ‘Russian Hill’, and all of them really…) show he listened well.

But what takes his singing and songwriting to another level is the quality of the music.  These predominantly up-tempo progressions have compelling and catchy combinations loud guitars, jamming synths and combustible beats that stick in your head (‘Summerstock’ and ‘She Is’).  Even on a ballad (‘Sheila’) the music shines through.  It’s loud, rich, and you just can’t stop listening to it.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see them progressively hitting bigger stages.  Imaginary People have a top five album here.

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