Release Date: Jun 23, 2009
Record label: Secretly Canadian
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
It's not a wonder to me that Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste is a huge Foreign Born fan, having them open for a few of their shows early this year. It is a wonder to me, however, that Grizzly Bear is enjoying the success that they currently are while a band like Foreign Born remains much more obscure. Despite (or perhaps because of) their 2007 appearance on NBC's Chuck, Foreign Born has not achieved the indie stardom they truly deserve.
Depending on where you lay your head most nights, the term "summer jam" can trigger a wide variety of feelings and sounds. Birthday sex? The best you ever had? Sure, but that's a different kind of summer heat altogether. What if you live in a place where, save for some nasty winds every now and again, summer seems like the season and state-of-mind all year round? There are never any icy sidewalks to brave, fewer windshields to scrape, and bands aren't throwing 'bows for cramped rehearsal spaces-- just miles of hot beach, palm trees, and outdoor dining all day every day.
Today’s nugget of pop-history: following up the fiery politicking of Document and Green, REM briefly considered calling their international breakthrough not Out Of Time, but The Return of Mumbles. As it happened, Stipe had as much to say as he (may have felt he) had to hide, but he made an artform out of suggesting, and set a precedent for indie that has let many a fine band figure out what they want to stand for, while getting on with the business of jangling tunefully, or rocking mightily, whichever their want. After a month of listening, Foreign Born haven’t revealed any nuanced themes besides a general (albeit sensual, comforting) summeriness, but their jingling-jangling, African-tinged, and lightly-orchestrated indie all sounds more crafted, more fully realized, and carefully separated than many bands on their debut.
Click here to get your copy of Foreign Born’s ‘Person To Person’ from the Rough Trade shop.
That Foreign Born love all shades of things bright, open, and at least partially U. K. -inspired, can be heard from the opening song on Person to Person -- "Blood Oranges" has soaring guitar, emotional vocals courtesy of Matt Popieluch, a thick and swooning charge, and a sense that the band's record collection -- or digital playlist, depending -- contains a fair amount of familiar suspects past and present, like U2, the Chameleons, James, Interpol, Snow Patrol, and more besides.