Los Angeles has a stigma about it in the independent music world. For many years the vapidness of the mainstream pop stardom mega-machine has cast a shadow over the city, hiding from the national view LA’s vibrant underground scene. This scene shows the deep levels of talent and culture evident in LA, once you look past Hollywood. Foreign Born is perhaps the best incapsulation of the LA scene: lurking just under the radar until the recent release of their new album Person To Person, blending many cultural influences with seamless ease, and producing dynamic off-shoot bands such as Fool’s Gold and Glasser.
We are proud to announce the first video from Person to Person, for the song “Winter Games”. The video, directed by Foreign Born starts with two Crip Walkers trading moves synonymous with the streets and night clubs of LA. Then they incorporate light and smoke to create a color field abstraction. It’s a subtle play between two fields of view that heavily echo the Light and Space movement in modern art, championed by Californian artists like Robert Irwin in the 1960s. Just as Foreign Born’s music assimilates so many different musical styles and genres within their sound, this new video echoes that as well, taking elements from both hip-hop and modern art to make a stylistically unique rock video.
Foreign Born is also currently on national tour. And for those of you in the LA area, don’t miss Foreign Born’s performance on KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” on July 15, followed by a free show July 16 at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.
Foreign Born Tour Dates HERE.
The next morsel of the savory meal that is Foreign Born’s Person To Person (due out June 23 in the U.S. and June 15 in the UK). Their new single “Early Warnings” picks up where their first single “Vacationing People” left off. It’s a frolicking tune built on African guitar licks, hand claps, and group harmonies. It reminds us of cold beer under a hot summer sun cut with a slight hint of ocean breeze. In other words, a perfect song to usher in the beginning of Summer.
Give “Early Warnings” a listen HERE.
Meanwhile, the band has dates lined up with the likes of BLK JKS, Grizzly Bear and The Veil. See all the dates by simply clicking right HERE.
The gentlemen FOREIGN BORN spent their most recent 4/20 holiday in the back alleys of their native Los Angeles with a Swedish television crew, performing cuts from their most excellent album PERSON TO PERSON (released June 23). Sveriges Television Sweden has been kind enough to share the performance of “Blood Oranges,” the opening cut from Person To Person, on their blog. It’s unclear whether the sun is just coming coming up or on its way down at it glistens off the palm trees and barbed wire fencing alike. View the video in its entirety to hear the amazing choir of city dogs that join in on the last chorus to close out the song.
A holiday escape to the oceanside is meant to keep the tribulations of daily life at bay. Yet every joyous moment of vacation is undercut with a strange melancholy as you do the math on the finite nature of your getaway. So, you take your sweet, sweet time with that cold drink and offer a cheers an extra time or two.
The songs of LA’s Foreign Born’s, Person To Person, are cut through with this same duality: celebration in spite of trouble on the horizon.
While the songs are propelled by benga-flavored beats, fuzzed-out synth bass, clucking tropical cowbells- from soaring horn sections to emotive string arrangements, its frontman Matt Popieluch’s emotive, Aschcroft-y delivery that always keep the songs in check.
One can’t help but imagine this was the mood of Foreign Born’s mid-summer retreat to Sunset Lodge Studios, where bass parts were laid down in the wee hours of morning and the hot tub bubbled late into the night. The result of the session is an album of dense pop that justifies the band’s place among top songsmithing contemporaries like Cass McCombs and James Mercer, as well as greats like (dare I say it?) David Bowie (There, I said it). But the band is able to bypass the “songwriter” label by delivering a much more collective sound — you know, like a BAND. African high-life guitars are countered with New Wave wash; the sound of a band daring to keep its pallet open to most any influence — from U2 to The Feelies. If the Walkmen weren’t afraid to go out in Bermuda shorts and flip-flops, you may have a sound close to this… like it could be Phil Spector’s mid-70’s ‘lost recordings’ inspired by the depth of second-line drum bands from New Orleans.
It’s been said that Foreign Born is an anthem band without “the” fist-pumping anthem, which may be true. And this is OK, because the trade-off is for an album far more cerebral and sustaining. The thing with summer anthems is that they only last a summer, Foreign Born delivers the soundtrack for the backyard BBQ of the ages.
Check out an mp3 of album cut “Vacationing People” HERE.
Foreign Born is Lewis Pesacov, Matt Popieluch, Garrett Ray and Ariel Rechtshaid.
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