Filed Under:Foreign Born

FOREIGN BORN Perform Blood Oranges For Swedish Television On the Streets Of Los Angeles

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.

FOREIGN BORN Reveal Person To Person, Release MP3

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.

FOREIGN BORN Sign to Secretly Canadian!

Secretly Canadian is thrilled to announce that Foreign Born, the Los Angeles Times’ “best [band] to use sleigh bells” has joined their roster and will be releasing their Secretly Canadian debut, “Person to Person” in February of 2009. The band made the announcement themselves to Mark Sovel, the program director for L.A.’s influential radio station Indie 103.1 on his “Check 1-2″ radio show this past Sunday. This follows the band’s well-received first long-player, “On The Wing Now.”

“Full of vast, powerful tunes that take an earnest aim at the human condition.” -Pitchfork 8/07

Foreign Born began as a collaboration between singer/guitarist Matt W. Popieluch and lead guitarist Lewis Pesacov while the two were still in college. After finishing their studies they relocated to Los Angeles to record with Lewis’ longtime friend Ariel Rechtshaid, who had begun producing a series of increasingly impressive recordings for other bands like the Blood Arm and We Are Scientists and soon became Foreign Born’s bassist. Drummer Garrett Ray joined the band with sometime collaborator Rechtshaid, rounding out the foursome.

The band has since toured with the aforementioned Scientists, as well as fellow Southern Californians the Cold War Kids and multi-instrumentalist Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, among others, always inviting their touring companions on stage for a rousing rendition of their closing stomp, “Union Hall.”

“As purely So-Cal as Snoop Dogg and Silver Lake.” -NYLON Magazine, 9/07
The band amassed 22 songs in preparation for the release of “Person,” tinkering with each candidate and gradually working toward the 15 they’ll bring with them into the studio with still more cuts to be made. These selections take as much from the members’ musical influences as they do from the band’s eastside-LA environment, incorporating themes of wanderlust, loneliness amidst a teeming city, and concern over the landscape changing around them.

Asked to describe the feeling of finding a like-minded partner in Secretly Canadian, singer Matt W. Popieluch said simply that he finds the new arrangement “seriously bitchin’, on a number of levels.”

You can check out the videos from a sweet sun-kissed acoustic session the band recently recorded for Live Daily here:
Stay tuned for more on the new album “Person to Person”, upcoming live dates and more!

MORE ON Foreign Born:

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Band Website:


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