Enthusiasm, youthful spirit and energy, and a drive to do it! That is what propels Foreign Talks. Part chill, indie, and fun island sound all lets us know they like to party. Let’s do it together.
HITTING THE ROAD
Madison Fischer and Jeff Wagner joined Saturday Joe to talk the making of the album at Isaac Brock’s (Modest Mouse) studio, how life has been a dream for this quintet. How life plays out for Portland musicians, and what’s the 5-year plan. Hah!
Enjoy the conversation and a couple of live plays. And find out more, below.
PORTLAND, OREGON’S FOREIGN TALKS HIT THE ROAD IN SUPPORT OF SOPHOMORE
FULL-LENGTH, NO CEILINGS
Portland, Oregon-based quintet Foreign Talks follow-up their 2013,
self-titled debut with No Ceilings, a vast departure from the
hook-laden, indie-pop of their debut. And, they are hitting the road
in 2017 in support of No Ceilings. While No Ceilings is still
chock-full of memorable, alluring melodies, the outfit (now a
five-piece) has expanded into a more reggae-driven sound, while still
adding their love of indie-pop into every number.
Comprised of brothers Madison Fischer (lead vocals, percussion) and
Marcus Fischer (lead vocals, guitar, bass), Tanner Steinmetz (guitar,
bass, backing vocals), Kevin Downes (guitar, backing vocals,
percussion), and Jeff Wagner (drums), Foreign Talks has grown a lot
since forming in 2011, while still in high school.
They’ve also matured leaps and bounds from the release of their
debut, with, at the very least, each member graduating from high school.
But, with growth and maturity, Foreign Talks have truly come into their
own, resulting in the thirteen track collection that is No Ceilings, an
album that “represents that our sound has evolved and will continue
to ascend upward,” says Marcus Fischer.
“Since the debut,” he continues, “we have all matured musically and
personally, and grown in a lot of ways. Our sound has evolved just
as much as our lives have, and No Ceilings really reflects that.”
As the young ambassadors for the PN-Dub’s outdoor activities and
lifestyle – surfing, hiking, skateboarding, and snowboarding – this
band likes to party, such as on the album’s first single, “Rip It
Up,” a warm, danceable pop-reggae song that proclaims, “ganja ganja, we
rip it up slow.” But the band is capable of much more, as evident in
“All Alone,” which showcases Madison’s angel-like vocal and the band’s
ability to harmonize, delivering a sweet, soothing indie-pop treat
that will have fans of their debut quite impressed.
“Cerveza,” the album’s second single, finds the band blending
folk-pop with reggae, resulting in an instantly memorable song that is both
perfect for sitting back with a beer and soaking in warm weather, or
hitting the dance floor and shaking it.
“The album has a lot of different vibes,” confesses Marcus. “The
theme of this album is to believe in yourself, chase your dreams, and just
all around good vibes and love, and I think the music reflects that.”
Writing the songs together, the band hit the studio and laid down
rough draft versions of all the tracks, then came back one by one and honed
in on each of their parts. The result is something the band is quite
happy with, explaining it is exactly how they heard it in their
While proud of their debut, the band is quick to point out they had a
lot more fun recording No Ceilings, even adding a couple of songs at
the tail end of the recording session, because they felt they had to
be on the record.
Recorded at Isaac Brock’s (Modest Mouse) studio, songs like
“Chocolate Vanilla” and “Disco” showcase the band’s penchant for hip-hop, while
“Rules” and “Man” find the band dwelling in the familiar indie-pop
and folk-rock leanings of their debut.
Meanwhile, “NuNu” and “Purple” are the album’s standout rockers,
proving that the band may have grown up and matured, but they haven’t
grown out of the sounds of their debut, just expanded it, taking
chances and widening their palette for those who already enjoy their
undeniable pop sensibilities and gorgeous vocal harmonies.
Now, the only thing on the band’s mind is to hit the road,
relentlessly touring, and spreading their message of good vibes, love, and living
your dream, all while exposing people to their warm, vibrant sound
that will put a smile on your face the minute you hear it.