A few years on from the band’s debut EP, Foreign Mornings released their first full length 4 AM. With that first EP released in 2020, the band have since built on their increasing live presence and the odd single before the band took on the process of a debut album. Self described as ‘written in a bedroom, recorded in the kitchen’, it’s a real labour of DIY love. Amongst the back story is a set of ten indie and alt rock songs that are the culmination of the band’s graft and beginnings.
Following 4 AM’s release last month, we reached out to the band to get an insight into each track.
It’s about sitting down on your birthday, surrounded by friends, family, or just on your own and thinking ‘well that’s another year gone’ As musicians or creatives of any kind, time is a big thing, it kind of feels like you’re always hurtling towards a point where you have to decide it’s time to finally be super successful or get a real job and actually contribute to society. The song is meant to capture all of that.
I think It was one of the last tracks we actually recorded, but I remember it came together with much more ease than anything else we did. Recording everything on our own was a real rollercoaster of amazing moments, and moments of ‘we really suck at this’. When we got to ‘Happy Birthday’ we were a well oiled machine and it definitely felt much easier.
It’s all about anxiety and believing in yourself, there is a whisper track the whole way through to kind of add to that feeling of being in your own head.
We would record late into the night most nights and I remember listening through this one morning after working on it the night before. We had electric guitar and drums the whole way through originally but that morning we just happened to take them out on the verses and it just totally changed the song. It almost bounces between two different songs now but it just about works I think.
Where Are Your Friends Tonight?
There was a time when I was really into John Mayer, he has a song called ‘Dear Marie’ with a line ‘I’ve got my dream, but you’ve got family’ For some reason I thought about that line a lot, the concept of sacrificing one thing to have another thing and in the end wondering which is right. That became the premise of ‘Where Are Your Friends Tonight?‘, it’s about chasing your dreams and leaving the people you care about behind. That’s sort of a recurring theme through the whole album.
The big emotional ballad of the album, we had the mindset from start to finish that we could do whatever we set our minds to, it might just take a bit of time. ’19’ without doubt took the most time, we re-recorded our own parts a countless number of times, and when we were happy with that, we got in string players, our friend Robyn for some extra vocals and the whole thing just kept on escalating. I don’t know how many tracks are in the final mix but it’s a lot for sure. Definitely one of the most fun tracks to record though, if not one of the saddest in content. It’s about being torn apart from someone you love, for whatever reason it might be.
I’ll Let You Know
I often find it hard to lock us into an exact genre, ‘I’ll Let you Know’ is definitely the most ‘indie’ we’ve ever been and probably ever will be. It’s about letting someone go and regretting it, we had a run of gigs towards the end of summer 2022 and this one came together during that period, it’s a nice time to look back on.
Let’s Go Home
The very first song off the album we tracked in December last year. It was definitely the slowest to put together as we were still very much learning how to approach creating a song all on our own. I think it went through about thirty different mixes, comparing it to Foo Fighters records in the car and trying to figure out where we were falling short. The process of creating ‘Let’s Go Home’ very much became the template for everything that would follow.
Collectively it’s one of our favourite songs to play live, it seems to get people going without fail. If the energy at a show is a little low it won’t be after ‘Let’s Go Home’.
The Life You Lead
When we started creating the album, I knew that I wanted a gentle meandering acoustic tune in the middle of it. All the best albums have it so we had to also. It’s definitely one of the most emotional tracks on the album too, it’s about the choices you make in life, when something is done it’s done, there’s no going back.
Definitely one of the oldest tracks on the album, and one we tracked and re-tracked a countless number of times. It was meant to be on an EP we were working on before the album but that all fell apart, the track survived though!
It’s basically just about going out and getting really drunk with old friends, it’s one that was a bit covid inspired, we couldn’t go out with friends for so long and this was born out of that idea of finally seeing each other again and having a party.
This was the only track that was written during the actual recording process, there was another track we were going to use but one night after a recording session we accidentally came up with ‘Blessed’. We were immediately like, right we’re not jamming anymore, we need to get this recorded straight away before we forget it. It’s hard to match the excitement of coming up with something cool on the spot. It’s part of why we decided to record the album on our own. No way we could have afforded to scrap a track mid recording and take a risk on some fresh idea we’d just had if we’d been in a ‘real’ studio. The DIY element gave us so much more freedom and I think ultimately made it a much more enjoyable experience.