Matt Popieluch, frontman for Secretly Canadian band Foreign Born, has been making music as Big Search since 1999. After making significant aesthetic breakthroughs in his dorm room at San Francisco State University, he embarked on a four-track recording spree that lasted the remainder of his collegiate experience, resulting in several 90-minute “albums” destined for the vacuum of obscurity.
DOWNLOAD MP3 of “THAT’S ALL (LIGHTS ON)” BY BIG SEARCH
Thank the stars Popieluch’s efforts as Big Search did not stop there. St. Ives now gives us Lay of the Land, a limited vinyl collection of Big Search songs, some of which date back to 2006, and most of which sprang from pure improvisation. Together, these recordings embody a sense of recklessness and gambling that is essential to the Big Search pallet. Lead track “That’s All (Lights On)” feels like jittery, back porch Suicide, while the rhythmic, churning guitars that crescendo with the title track create a sort of expericana krautrock. With heavy use of vocal harmony, chaotic guitar and collage-like rhythm arrangements, generalized descriptors for the record are hard to come by. Let’s just say Lay of the Land is a testament to jumping off a cliff and trusting there is water beneath.
The unique cover art uses a photo of Norwegian artist Anders Dahl Monsen’s piece “Beach Bum,” an ass sculpture on a beach in Malibu. Most agree it is a woman’s ass, but debate continues. Big search likes it either way. All 250 covers were hand-painted.