Vancouver, Washington-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 while No Ceilings is still chalk-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 heads.
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 that 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 warn, vibrant sound that will put a smile on your face the minute you hear it.