Foreign Poetry emerged in 2018, a collaboration of experimentation and admixture between producer Moritz Kerschbaumer (based in London) and singer/songwriter Danny Geffin (based in Brighton) from which an album was conceived, using a varied palette of textures and arrangements, folk-rooted vocal melodies and a raw vulnerability.
After working long hours on the music, they used to talk about random craziness: political farce, disobedience, foreign intervention, war-for-profit, the News, what it takes to be a member of a club, what it takes to get a girl, London, cultural differences, corporate corruption, vanity, political correctness – about all things in the world besides music. Often times, after retreating to their respective cities, a song would arrive. Moritz worked on the track, sent it over to Danny who began to write lyrics and laid down the vocal, and then sent it back. They were on the same page even if the language was unknown.
Their Debut AlbumGrace and Error on the Edge of Now is like psychedelic rock with neither rock nor psychedelia – perhaps it’s closer to freak folk or dream-pop. On the album they reach epic heights through enormous soundscapes and complex orchestrations, as well as more laid-back grooves, which strip some of the instrumentation away in favor of bare-bones lyrical storytelling. In each corner there’s a nuance to be discovered in which the band constructs a world possible to lose yourself in. Working as something of a concept album, it tackles a variety of larger abstract notions as well as more pointed ones – sometimes in passing, sometimes as a central coda. There is also space for the personal, the intricacies of life and human relationships.
As Danny puts it “there are parts of the album concerned with the minutia of one’s interior world, and others with the global cacophony of unregulated progressivism, the death of nuance, environmental negligence and the ends of empires. At first we weren’t really sure where we were going with it, but what came out the other side is a sincere exposition both as a reminder of something human and humble – which may have been forgotten – and also a growing concern for the continual lack of purpose and connection evident in a widening globalised chaos. Something like ‘it’s the best time to be alive but why doesn’t it feel that way?'”
Likened to Arthur Russell, The National, Lambchop and Future Islands amongst others, there’s different styles going on throughout the record as well as different themes. Mounting in a meditation on lapsed spiritual practices and if the notion of faith has a functional value in our evolution, the impact of technological expediency on the human condition, the dissemination of information as it informs and monitors an apparent shift in human consciousness, the indoctrination of youth and the process of moving past adolescence and the belief of a world in which music is not held hostage by social media.