The Foghorns | NEW LOW

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Rock: Folk Rock Country: Country Blues Moods: Type: Lo-Fi
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NEW LOW

by The Foghorns

Combine Minnesota folk with country and blues, then take it out to Iceland for three years, and you get the Foghorns. Odd, poetic, raw with fearless songwriting.
Genre: Rock: Folk Rock
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Worst Song
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3:13 $0.99
2. Coming Home
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2:40 $0.99
3. Hat Blues
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2:31 $0.99
4. Golden Ghosts
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2:11 $0.99
5. Alex
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2:02 $0.99
6. In America
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2:13 $0.99
7. Uncle Ethan
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3:40 $0.99
8. Crying Man
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1:21 $0.99
9. When You're Dead
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6:00 $0.99
10. Gamli Gardur
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3:11 $0.99
11. Golden Ghosts (Live)
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2:07 $0.99
12. When You're Dead (Live)
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2:45 $0.99
13. Lullaby (Live)
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2:47 $0.99
14. Uncle Ethan (Live)
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3:14 $0.99
15. Wedding Porn (Live)
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2:31 $0.99
16. Sunken Treasure (Live)
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4:23 $0.99
17. So Sober (Live)
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3:05 $0.99
18. Coming Home (Live)
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2:45 $0.99
19. Goodbye (Live)
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2:23 $0.99
20. Wake Up (Live)
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4:17 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
To learn to write a tight, unique, affecting song, Bart Cameron convinced a fellow American to beat a large bucket and travel with him throughout Iceland. They sang about lost love, attempted suicide, and discovering a girlfriend’s collection of wedding dress cut-outs to the hippest of artist communes and the most brutal of fisherman bars, and at the end of the year, they had an album, a following, and a surprising number of electrocution stories.

This wasn’t the beginning of the Foghorns, the name Bart uses for music he writes with mathematician Steve Firchow. Bart played the Foghorns in the New York bluegrass community from 2002-2003. Then came the Iceland bucket experiment. The success of the bucket experiment, and the limited release album, So Sober, led to the new Foghorns four-piece band. That band recorded a double album throughout the United States and Iceland, and released it in October 2006 in Iceland after a series of performances at the Iceland Airwaves festival.

The songs themselves are the focus with the Foghorns, from a country number that reminds the listener “If you love what is alive, it will go ahead and die, so I will only love you when you’re dead,” to a song nominated by fans as the backup Icelandic national anthem, “This is a bad place to be sober, and awake,” to a modest pop tune in which the singer seduces his friend’s wife, to an elegy for a friend who died of a drug overdose, remembering the nights in September, 2001, looking out over Manhattan from a Brooklyn apartment with Billy Idol karaoke in the background. And the songs have taken on lives of their own: in 2006 in Iceland, a number of Foghorns covers will be released, including a full brass band version of I Will Only Love You When You’re Dead by Benni Hemm Hemm, and a melodic rock take on the bucket song Beautiful Girl by popular local band Touch.

Still, when the Foghorns play, they capture the imagination, earning the review of “at once the most frustrating and exciting show of opening night” of the 2005 Iceland Airwaves showcase from LiveonStage (www.liveonstage.org.uk). Other live reviews have been positive, including a number of comparisons to Bob Dylan, which are considered generous but inaccurate by Bart and the band, though a childhood in the Midwest may have shaped Bart’s vocal style. A 13-hour concert held during Iceland’s Election Day, June 6, 2006, with local rock band Reykjavik! became the stuff of legend in Iceland.

In November of 2006, with the Foghorns double album New Low selling through the first printing in two weeks, Bart celebrated by releasing a free album for fans called OLYMPUS. Named after the Olympus Dictaphone he used to record himself, the album strips their popular songs down to vocals and minimal guitar and harmonica to see how well the songs do with no ornamentation whatsoever. It is available on the Beefy Beef Records website, www.beefybeef.com, and all interested are welcome to download it.

Also in November of 2006, Bart Cameron got involved with a documentary film project about returning to America. With the working title Bart and Bush, the film is being produced by Broken Robot Films, www.brokenrobotfilms.com, and will feature Foghorns music and live performances by the Foghorns.

And yes, Bart Cameron is the former editor of the alternative English language magazine the Reykjavik Grapevine, and he wrote the odd travel book Inside Reykjavik.


Reviews


to write a review

Andrew Wilson

geothermal cheese
I heard this band at the 400 Bar in Minneapolis, and was inspired by what they did together. A little Australian violin, some Icelandic guitar, mellifluous Wisconsinoid vocals--nice. When Wisconsin and Iceland procreate, the offspring yields an abundance of cheese and geothermal energy, and Utopia ensues.

The Reykjavik Grapevine

throw all the money you can spare at them because this is a f..ing great CD
The Foghorns have been pretty active in the music scene the past couple of years, playing numerous shows but never drawing a big crowd. The brainchild of former Grapevine editor, Bart Cameron, this release was partly recorded live in Reykjavík and partly in some (I imagine) seedy locations in Brooklyn and Wisconsin. The sound is rough and lo-fi but perfectly fitting the Bruce Springsteen folk-punk rock (think Nebraska, not Born To Run). Lyrically it’s an album of sorrow, sadness and longing – the bitterness shines through. It sounds honest and raw with a feeling of intensity; as if the band has a point to make and really, really wants the listener to get it; as if they care about their work, getting the music out just to get it out and not because they think it will make them lots of money. It won’t. So throw all the money you can spare at them because this is a fucking great CD.

The Reykjavik Grapevine

throw all the money you can spare at them because this is a f..ing great CD
The Foghorns have been pretty active in the music scene the past couple of years, playing numerous shows but never drawing a big crowd. The brainchild of former Grapevine editor, Bart Cameron, this release was partly recorded live in Reykjavík and partly in some (I imagine) seedy locations in Brooklyn and Wisconsin. The sound is rough and lo-fi but perfectly fitting the Bruce Springsteen folk-punk rock (think Nebraska, not Born To Run). Lyrically it’s an album of sorrow, sadness and longing – the bitterness shines through. It sounds honest and raw with a feeling of intensity; as if the band has a point to make and really, really wants the listener to get it; as if they care about their work, getting the music out just to get it out and not because they think it will make them lots of money. It won’t. So throw all the money you can spare at them because this is a fucking great CD.

Andre Young

Somehow, this has the spirit of Johnny Cash
Got this disc through iTunes after reading the Grapevine review. (Good paper, www.grapevine.is.) What you think of when you listen to this, though, isn't Iceland. Not at all. This CD sounds like winter, maybe, but winter in the Southern US. You've got a kind of manic, judging by the live CD, live singer, with this blown out voice throwing out these witty lines that just sound horribly sad, and then a band pushing it along. Here's a leap, okay... I would put this in the category of JOHNNY CASH! When you hear the high and, well, razorwired voice, you won't get it, but it comes down to the meaning of the music. It drives you, and it is brutally honest and unrelenting. Cash had a voice that told you everything would be alright, even those his lyrics may be more sincere and sad. Cameron sings lyrics with more cynicism, and humor, but his voice, especially live, tells you that this is NOT going to work out. "This is a bad place to be sober and awake," he says, and you believe that this is how he wakes up everyday, and it's just the singing that keeps him going.