Evolving through the solo work of singer/songwriter, Matthew Burke, Foreign Architects began in 2013 as a two-piece outfit with his drummer/cousin, Andrew Barnett. Looking to expand upon the initial acoustic leanings of his writing and performing, Burke’s guitar was fitted with a custom pick-up run through guitar and bass amps with octave pedals and live looping adding to the songs and soundscapes.
Gigging as a duo over an extended period saw them support Eskimo Joe in early 2015, then later that year being chosen (via the Singapore/WA Music Exchange) to perform at Beerfest Singapore, a festival attended by over 30,000 people.
Another big-crowd performance occurred during an A-League half-time show at a Perth Glory home game.
A few singles were released during this time (including the well-received Poisonous Pill, which received triple j airplay), but Burke could again see that it was time for Foreign Architects to change things up.
“The vision expanded when it became apparent that the parts we were writing for the songs were getting too tedious to re-produce live,” he explains. “It wasn't just about attitude and smashing out the songs anymore, the looping and the multitude of guitar rigs just didn't allow the music to be represented as faithfully as it deserved. And in all honesty, I wasn't really connecting with the songs as much as the technical side of things in the live arena.”
Enter old friend, Callum Morrison, who’d played bass on some earlier Foreign Architects sessions and, more recently, guitarist Dylan Geiles. The new line-up’s first recorded output is the recently released single, Glass, recorded with the help of Dylan Olivierre (Rainy Day Women/The Money War) and Andy Lawson from Debaser Studios.
“It had its first incarnation as a slick, electro-pop instrumental track,” Burke reveals. “I had actually started to solicit it to other artists, but one day in the studio I think I re-opened the session with a different mindset and put my own flavour on it again, and it came out very different, yet still leaning towards pop but perhaps some influences from Miike Snow, Foster The People and Milky Chance.”
Now joined by a full line-up, Burke is looking forward to building songs from the ground up collectively, further cementing the band’s creative connection. With a history of singles behind them and a more refined sound across the board at present, he’s keen for Foreign Architects to record a longer form release.
“We're hoping Glass is a successful release that on top of Poisonous Pill will spark some interest in an EP and hopefully provide some opportunities to hit the road,” he says. “There's a huge drive within the band in terms of work ethic and playing in far corners here, there and everywhere, but at the same time we're realistic. So if we've keep gathering ears that are keen to listen, then we'll make sure we're in a room in their town as soon as we can”
On the last single, Poisonous Pill:
“Loose in the best of ways” – Zan Rowe, Triple J
“Tidy little song here, I like the blend of Mac Demarco looseness with some fuzzy 90s guitar in the chorus” – Zan Rowe, Triple J
“This is really fun and different” Bridget Huswaite, Triple J