Foreign Talks – Self Titled
I can’t put my finger on it, but somehow—some way—Foreign Talks’ newly released self titled album sounds like something from a 1970’s Italian romance. Of course, they aren’t Italian, and they aren’t from the seventies. Maybe it’s the mix of the singer’s voice and lighthearted backing, or the vintage scales that evoke memories in 88 millimeter film. It’s the type of music that you play in your head when you’re riding a Vespa through Rome (if you’re ever so lucky), or when your swinging off a rope into a lake (something much more likely), Foreign Talks’ self titled album is the soundtrack to the kind of freedom that only comes with being happy. It’s the sound of contentment, of youth, of something unfamiliar and completely recognizable. It’s a sound you’ve never heard before but recognize instantly. It’s light, it’s poppy, it’s complex. For all intents and purposes: they’re like a crisp white wine.
Ok, so maybe I’m being overly-poetic, but Foreign Talks’ self titled album is cool, refreshing, and extremely palatable, so the imagery fits. They’re a band based in Portland, Oregon, and it almost makes sense. Almost. Portland has gotten a lot of press as being the hipster capitol of America (or at the very least in strong competition). It’s a west coastal city that’s known for being weird and unusual, home to Voodoo Doughnuts and The Goonies. Of course, the reason I say it almost makes sense is that Portland is a city with little restraint. It’s not gluttonous, not by any means, but it is a place where ideas are pushed to their absolute limit.
Maybe that’s what makes Foreign Talks so refreshing. They aren’t over-powered, they aren’t in your face, their music isn’t heavy-handed or over the top. It’s clean, it’s crisp, it’s clear. In short: it’s wonderful. There’s something ingenious in creating boundaries and performing in them, perfectly and exact.
OK. So let’s talk about the album for a minute. The opening track is titled “Denial,” instantly referencing strong influences from fellow west costal acts Local Natives. It feels like the beach, like the things in California that feel like the things is Tuscany. It’s hard to explain, and I’m not quite sure that I get it myself.
Foreign Talks creates a sound that could only have been composed through complete collaboration. Every part of every track is given equal respect, equal time, equal love. It’s a universalist approach and it works. There is no super star or ring leader, there is just a band making great music, making music together.
The album ends with “Save Your Energy.” Maybe it’s a joke, a stab at how relaxed and care free this album makes you feel. I fit is, it’s very clever. It’s heavily harmonized and acoustic, light and dreamy and nearly perfect. It’s a delightful group effort, a team work, something completed by the joint talent of the band itself.
At its end, that’s what makes Foreign Talks such a great band, the producers of such a great self titled album. I’m excited to see what they do now, where they go, and what great collaboration they produce next.
WORDKRAPHT Rating: Five Stars!
Album Name: Foreign Talks
Date Released: August, 2013
Genre: Costal Indie Rock
Location: Portland, OR
Band Members: Marcus Fischer- Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Madison Fischer- Vocals, Keys, Drums
Tanner Steinmetz- Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Kevin Downes- Guitar, Drums, Vocals, Keys
Record Label: Expunged Records