Artist: Foreign Talks
Distributed by: Expunged Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Formed in 2011, the members of the Portland, Oregon band Foreign Talks met in high school and began jam sessions at a local music store. When Expunged Records saw a video of the band performing, they swooped in and signed them to a record deal. The result is a self-titled album released on April 16, 2013.
The band consists of Madison Fischer on lead vocals, percussion and keyboards, brother Marcus Fischer on lead vocals, guitar and bass, friend Tanner Steinmetz on guitar, bass and backing vocals and Kevin Downes on guitar, percussion and backing vocals. Despite the maturity of the bandís sound that landed them this record deal, Foreign Talks members range from the ages of seventeen to nineteen.
The music of their self-titled album is mainly indie-pop featuring lyrics that range from light-hearted to dark and turmoil based. My favorite on the album is Mama in which the singer promises heíll be back some day to save his family. The listener gets the impression that he is running from an abusive home that features an overbearing (possibly physically abusive) father to pursue his dreams of music. Despite remembrances of happier times, the singer clearly believes that he will eventually fill the savior role in his family once he makes it big, leading the listener to believe that the home he is leaving may not just be abusive but may also be in financial disrepair.
What is most impressive on this album is the bandís harmonic sound. These guys can really harmonize. There has been much talk about the whistling in certain tracks on this album and while I applaud the now rare effect, I still think that the harmony of the vocals is what makes this band interesting.
Still, I find that the music just doesnít grab me like some other independent artists I have heard of late. Perhaps that is because, as polished as they appear to be, there is still some need for improvement. Fortunately, this band is very young and that polished sound will come with more time on the indie scene. That being said, I can still honestly recommend taking a listen to Foreign Talks - the music is catchy and the harmonies are impressive, especially when you take into consideration the members ages.