Foreign Born are from L.A., have released two EPs prior to this full-length, and Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste calls them his “favorite new band.” That said, I didn't know what to make of this record on the first pass. It’s canny and deceptive: is that a zither on “Union Hall”? This is the definition of an eclectic and heady pysch-rock band, an album that will take a long while to digest. The ingredients include everything from mopey new wave to Brit-rock, a sort of a concoction with bits of Echo & the Bunnymen, Primal Scream and The Verve floating in it. Matt Popieluch’s voice can sometimes fall between Richard Ashcroft and Steve Kilbey, and between his vocals and the chimey guitars of Lewis Pesacov, “It Wasn’t Said To Ask”, “Letter of Inclusion”, and “The Nights Fall” all resonate with something something luminous and perhaps sublime.
They’ve been compared to former touring partners Rogue Wave, and that’s not completely off-base, although both bands rather defy simple comparisons of any kind. The more I listen to this, the more it burrows its way into my cerebral cortex. Dim Mak has always been a label with a broad vision, and Foreign Born stretches those boundaries even further.