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New Music: Foreign Office

Maria Turauskis


Foreign Office are a London based four-piece who originally hail from Great Yarmouth. The group have self-released a number of EPs over the past 18 months or so, with a new extended play dubbed Alaska after the studio they recorded it in, set for release shortly. The group have also had a recent string of successful touring date, appearing on stage with the likes of Erasure and Carl Barat respectfully.

The group’s work blends a curious mixture of soul, funk and post-punk, to create a sound that is decidedly retro and decidedly new wave. Foreign Office’s music simply screams 1980s, both in the phrasing, timbres and style instrumentally, and in the vocal style and content, which is high reminiscent of the work of The B-52s frontman Fred Schneider. Indeed, the music Foreign Office make is like a modern day mash of The B-52s, The GoGos, Tom Tom Club and Devo, essentially being very catchy alternative rock-pop.

As you might expect, the instrumentation is fairly standard – traditional guitar, bass, drums and piano lead the way. There is however some interesting synth and percussion sounds scattered about which gives the music a slightly more modern vibe, not dissimilar to the recent work of Field Music.

Foreign Office create quirky, witty pop-rock with tightly phrased lyrics. Very upbeat, fun and certainly throwback, but enjoyable with it. The group’s new EP is set for release on their own label Quite Life on 17th Oct 2011. Their other EPs, On Repeat and Leaving the House/Voices, are avail to download from their Bandcamp page.



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