Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Foreign Exchange Readies 3rd Album, Authenticity

I normally don't do things like post album art and whatnot here. I think it's boring and silly, quite frankly. But, Phonte sent this over yesterday afternoon, and I'm a big supporter of his and the FE Family, so why not? 

I see that Chantae Cann is going to be featured on the album, which is super cool. She's the "voice" on Jaspect's Polkadotted Stripes album. I remember Phonte asking me why the hell I hadn't put him up on Jaspects a little over a year ago. Of course, I had, but the songs I sent him weren't his favorites on the album, so I guess he kind of forgot. Anyways, he was going ape over Chantae's voice--asking who on earth she was. At the time,  I didn't know much about her myself, only little tidbits Jaspect's manager at the time, Jeff Cohran, had told me. Anyhoo, fast forward about a year or so, and Tay tells me he has just finished recording vocals for Chante. A few weeks later, at the FE show in Atlanta she nervously gets on stage during their impromptu jam session, and RIPS it. Good gracious, this girl's voice is other-worldly. I just hope that she gets over her shyness a bit.  

So, that was my personal Authenticity story to justify making this post. Not really, but I wanted to share anyways. I think this album should be pretty incredible. I don't think most people understand how much work these guys put in. I mean, how many artist do you know that not only write, sing, and produce their own vocals, but then, mix their own vocals and engineer all of their own sessions? That's what Phonte and Nic do. Phonte essentially handles all of the vocal work--mixing the vocals, writing, engineering and Nic handles the music--producing, mixing the tracks.  For any of you who have ever spent actual time in a studio (and no, interviewing someone for an hour or two doesn't count), you know that is an overwhelming amount of work. 

Anyways, I'm looking forward to this project. Leave It All Behind is still in rotation...literally.

Picking up where their 2008 Grammy-nominated "Leave It All Behind" set left off, "Authenticity" is the group's most diverse work to date, with a tight, 11-track song cycle spanning the duo's trademark brand of lush electronic soul, to stripped down acoustic pieces that recall the heyday of 70's singer-songwriter driven folk. 

Lead single "Maybe She'll Dream Of Me" is a playful, synth-driven hip-hop groove featuring a rapped verse from Phonte that evokes the band's "Connected" era, while the epic opener "The Last Fall" finds some of the band's most cynical lyrics to date ("Love is at worst an excuse/at best it's a truce...") over a frenzied Nicolay production jammed with layers of strings, guitars, and dense choral harmonies. 

"I think every band reaches that point when they come into their own and find a sound that is distinctively theirs," says Phonte in reference to the album's title. "The title refers to me and Nic's journey to find our own unique space within this vast musical landscape. The biggest challenge as a musician is to find that 'thing' that makes you who you are. But I think we're getting there, and we're finding our way more and more with each record." 

Featuring guest appearances from longtime contributors YahZarah, Darien Brockington, Zo! and Median, and also relative newcomers Chantae Cann and Jesse Boykins III, "Authenticity" hits stores 10/12 on +FE Music. 


11. This City Ain't The Same Without You feat. YahZarah

10. Laughing At Your Plans feat. Chantae Cann

9. Everything Must Go

8. Make Me A Fool feat. Jesse Boykins III & Median

7. Don't Wait feat. Darien Brockington

6. Maybe She'll Dream Of Me

5. Fight For Love

4. All Roads

3. Eyes To The Sky

2. Authenticity

1. The Last Fall

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