The Secretly Canadian Newsletter

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.

Foreign Born is Lewis Pesacov, Matt Popieluch, Garrett Ray and Ariel Rechtshaid

”The songs that make up this record are as meticulously recorded and executed as pop music gets. They’re as dense and lush as they are stick-in-your-craw catchy.” – POPMATTERS

“the band [has a] feel for anthemic ’80s rock shaded by complex arrangements and cathartic moments that make the likes of Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire so appealing”- LA TIMES

“Percussion-loaded pop ballads, hypnotic bridges, and danceable rock edges”- SPIN Magazine

“Foreign Born’s new music is inhabited by cries for help, shouts of hope and pleas for healing, all underpinned by rhythms so relentless and restless they seem connected to our turbulent times. And it’s not a stretch to think of this album as Foreign Born’s “Music From Big Pink.” – BUZZ BANDS


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