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Foreign Air @ Fonda Theater 11/28/16.Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com. This photo was obtained under the express authorization and license by Red Bull Media House North America, Inc.
Foreign Air @ Fonda Theatre Theater 11/28/16.Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com. This photo was obtained under the express authorization and license by Red Bull Media House North America, Inc.

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Like the band before them,, Foreign Air had an … air of mystery about them as well (sorry for trying to be “punny” … ok, I’m done. Promise).

Hailing from North Carolina, this band has made some pretty impressive strides this year, receiving high praise for their first EP, “For The Light” (listen to it below).  As I watched them perform for the first time at Red Bull Sound Select’s 28th Day of “30 Days In LA” at the Fonda, I waited for a singular moment to provide me with a lasting impression. It was a good set that provided the audience with an electronic soundscape highlighted by their lead singer’s (Jesse Clasen) crystal clear, tenor voice that pierced through the electronic wash, but it wasn’t until towards the end of their set, that my ears really perked up.

As they started playing their biggest hit, “Free Animal”, I associated the feeling that I got at that moment to the feeling I got when I first heard Imagine Dragons’ recording of “Radioactive”. “Free Animal” is dark, brooding, and rhythmically succinct that swells to a palpable intensity each time the chorus hits. The musical and emotional crescendos in that song is probably a major factor as to why “Free Animal” has over 260 thousand listens on Soundcloud.

To be clear, I’m not comparing Foreign Air’s music to that of Imagine Dragons’. Their musical styles are clearly distinct. Foreign Air’s orchestration is more electronic in nature, and Jesse’s vocals reside mostly in his upper register and falsetto, with an almost cabaret-ish quality to it. But their performance of “Free Animal” was undoubtedly the highlight of the performance for me, and I can only hope that they continue to write songs as provocative as that one going forward.

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