Album Notes - Foreign Diplomats - Monami

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A few minutes into Foreign Diplomats' Monami, a thought came to me I had never previously entertained in a musical context: Are these guys Canadian? What initially caught my eye was their name, but when the music started, almost immediately something about their sound struck me as north of the border. I realize it's unworldly to paint with too broad a brush concerning music and an area as large as Canuckia, but a quick search revealed that indeed the band hails from Montreal. So why did I have this thought? Well, groups like Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire quickly sprang to mind, as Foreign Diplomats also have that large, sweeping, buoyant sound. Their tunes are well-written and similarly push the right emotional buttons without being overly schmaltzy. That said, it took me a couple of tracks to fully get into. Throughout their sophomore album there are some serious nods to the 80s, far from my favorite era of music. But importantly, Monami sustains an earnest charm that held my interest long enough to get through the album. And then promptly push play again. Lured by the eye, hooked with the ear.

 

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