Very Truly Yours

Things You Used to Say

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Very Truly Yours are an indie pop group from Illinois who have spent many hours by the record player studying the classics -- mainly the great Scots like Belle & Sebastian and Camera Obscura, but also some equally great American artists like the Softies and Saturday Looks Good to Me, all bands that combine peppy songs with roots in C-86 and Motown with plangent, heartfelt vocals that sometimes veer off pitch but always ring true. Their debut album, Things You Used to Say, shows that the group and main songwriter/vocalist Kristine Capua learned their lessons very well. The record is filled with songs that capture the feel of their mentors’ albums. From the instrumentation to the structure of the songs, there is no doubt where Capua gets her inspiration. The trick with an album that clings so snugly to a previously constructed sonic template is to inject enough personality and emotion to make it sound new. For the most part, Very Truly Yours succeed in doing just that. Though Capua doesn’t have the strongest voice, the cracks hit in just the right places and she puts across the melancholic but never mopey lyrics with ease. On a song like the title track where she puts some extra guts into her singing, it delivers a nice jolt of energy that serves the record well. The band also hits all the right notes, and while it may have been nice for there to be more sonic surprises as the album played out, the sound Very Truly Yours create is warm and enveloping. A record this gentle and restrained isn’t really looking to surprise or shock anyone; it’s more of a love letter to a sound. Taken on those terms, Things You Used to Say is a success. It will be interesting to see if they can expand their reach and start to assert their own identity, but then, fellow lovers of the sound the group re-creates so faithfully here will find this to be a nice addition to their own collections.

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