The Brillboard: Birthday, 03/20/2019

Brillboard 2019-03-20

The Brillboard is a curated list of fresh, new tracks by independent and up-and-coming artists. Tracks on the Brillboard fit a mood – sometimes broad, sometimes very specific, always useful to you. Follow for the soundtrack to your life, by artists you wish you knew.


This week’s Brillboard focuses on my birthday.

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I turned 25 the other day. To celebrate the silver birthday, I went to my hometown and spent time with countless family members and close friends – including Atwood’s Editor in Chief, Mitch Mosk. This week’s Brillboard features just one song by one band, serving as an homage to and summary of my birthday weekend. Enjoy, and if you’re also celebrating, congratulations.

“Everything Is Good Now” – Foreign Air

One of the typical trajectories of a band’s formation is “first we were friends, then we made a band.” Foreign Air’s Jesse Clasen and Jacob Michael are in fact friends, but their friendship and band’s formation is anything but typical. In a refreshing reversal of the classic trope, Foreign Air’s dynamic duo became friends while touring in their own, individual bands. Their separate groups overlapped for a single show in North Carolina, but that one day was enough for them to notice mutual talent, spark a decade-long relationship, and create the inevitable yet somewhat unplanned: a band of their own.

It’s now 2019, and Foreign Air has been at it for nearly four years, relentlessly releasing hit after hit. Their soundscape is pretty all-encompassing, drawing from a wide well of synth-pop (“Echo”), conventional rock (“Wake Me Up”), and at times, even a little bit of hip-hop (“Used To You”). This band can do just about anything, and they always do it well. Listen to the opening vocal hook of “Free Animal”, the band’s first track, and it’s hard not to get hooked yourself. Whether they’re touring with big names, playing at festivals across the country (I caught them at Shaky Knees in Atlanta), or headlining an international tour, Foreign Air is always playing somewhere.

Their latest track is “Everything Is Good Now”. It’s breezy and bubblegum, with light guitar strumming and a whistling, electronic harmony backing up Jesse’s vocals. It’s also exactly how I felt this past weekend, chilling with my friends and basking in the sunlight. Everything was good then, and listening to Foreign Air while writing this, everything is good now.

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Hi, my name's Jason. I'm a recent graduate from Tufts University, where I studied Computer Science and English. I'm currently working as a Software Engineer. Music is one of my biggest interests, and I spend a lot of my time attending small shows and big concerts in the greater Boston area. I like basically every type of music (except country… sorry), but my go-to genre is "Alternative" which includes most everything under the sun. Some of my favorite acts include Glass Animals, Slenderbodies and Yoke Lore.