Spring this year, young Indie band Foreign Talks released their self-titled debut album, richly produced by fellow Portlanders, Brandon Johnson and Kyle Dieker of the band Priory. It is a collection of ten tracks that ranges from the delicately contemplative and beautiful ‘Hello’ to the hazy upbeat Strokes vibe of ‘Santa Cruz’. What stands out most are the gorgeous tones and playful vocals of brothers Marcus and Madison Fischer whose almost African inflections bring the songs to life and hint at the influence of Jack Steadman, lead singer of Bombay Bicycle Club. Their quick paced rhythmic vocal style, mixed with lush harmonies keeps you hooked and behind the Indie style is a real depth of soul.
Joining the multi-instrumental brothers are their high school pals Tanner Stein (guitar, bass, backing vocals) and Kevin Downes (guitar, backing vocals, percussion) and together with this wealth of resources, music seems to ooze out of them. With subtle electronic effects, a resistance against being pigeon-holed too firmly, gorgeous harmonies and the occasional whistle this album shows much more scope and musicality than your average Indie kids. There is also a wisdom and maturity to their music for such a young band their ages range from just 17 to 19 years, demonstrating the magnitude of their creative potential.
The album is guitar driven with an emphasis on rhythmic word play and beautifully arranged harmonies supporting their lyrical picture of young life and figuring it all out. ‘Mama’ is a plea to cut the apron strings and seek identity, their artistic aspirations reinforced (“when I grow tall I’ll be back to save us all”). The album closes with the atmospheric and worldly ‘Save Your Energy’ with its swelling harmonies, mature lyricism and hypnotic acoustic guitar riff sure to leave you wanting more than its thirty minutes.
It’s easy to see why they were snapped up by local label Expunged Records just in time before they made a move to LA upon interest from producers after they were wowed by their many homemade YouTube videos. Their youthful energy and intelligent sound is accompanied by a vibrant and eclectic aesthetic to match, a breath of fresh air amongst the many Indie band clones, Foreign Talks are heading only one way.
Foreign Talks by Foreign Talks is available now to download from iTunes