“Lesser Evil” caught my attention from the get-go, especially with a chorus whose vocal approach (the grandiose backing vocal exuberance) reminds strongly of XTC, a personal favorite and act whose songwriting is full of distinctive charm to the point of sound-alike comparisons being quite rare, though The Birthday Letters seem to pack an impressive degree of creativity that invokes such. A London-based project outputting material fit for an “Iberian hangover”, The Birthday Letters is comprised of Joseph Hughes. Another notable part of the track comes via the slight female vocal repetition in the back during the chorus, recalling the sophisti-pop of Prefab Sprout. XTC? Prefab Sprout? This is hitting a bunch of sweet spots. Hughes is a very gifted songwriter with a bright future with this project, if “Lesser Evil” is any indication.
More goodness available on his Soundcloud, ranging from the quaint acoustical/piano-led “Good Morning, Rocinha” to the slickly infectious “Boxers of Havana”.