I interviewed Mike Lee from Letting Up Despite Great Faults about a month ago and discovered that he loves the vocoder.
Here's the interview, up yesterday at Blurt.
DON’T LET UP NOW Letting Up Despite Great Faults
Nov 27, 2012
Mike Lee sits at the intersection of twee pop and technology.
BY JENNIFER KELLY
"Vocorder." That's Mike Lee's favorite sound in Untogether (New Words), the second full-length from the L.A. born but currently Austin-based electro-pop band Letting up Despite Great Faults. It comes up twice, once in the single, "Bullet Proof Girl" and again in the closer "On Your Mark," and if you can't quite make it out, that's because Lee's bandmates -- keyboard player Annah Fisette, bassist Kent Zambrana and drummer Daniel Schmidt -- don't like it nearly as much as he does. They and the band's manager tried to convince Lee to ditch the robotic Kraut-into-prog-gish sound, but Lee only doubled it with untreated vocals.
"It's a cliche, but that's what's so great about it," Lee explains. "I've always been really attracted to that sound, because it's a kind of disguise. You can't make out who's singing."
It's also another example of the way that Letting Up Great Faults straddles the worlds of pop and electronics, pacing rain-on-windows twee-pop with booming programmed drums, lacing the bittersweet vulnerability of lo-fi guitar music with cerebral cut-and-paste. Lee learned to play guitar because of Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, but became fascinated with sampling after stumbling on DJ Shadow.