Matt Popieluch of Foreign Born and Fool’s Gold goes solo as Big Search
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According to Matt Popieluch, the folk-pop troubadour also known as Big Search, his latest project represents an attempt to take “an experimental and extremely no-holds-barred approach to taking a long, hard look in the mirror.”
What might that mean? It could insinuate that the peripatic Foreign Born frontman recently had infinity mirrors installed in his bathroom. Maybe he’s on a songwriting binge sparked by Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ and repeated viewings of the Hulk Hogan-Tiny Lister pro wrestling epic, “No Holds Barred.” Most likely, it’s reflective of an introspective urge crossed with a desire to flout pop conventions.
He describes the new track ‘Middle Man’ as “pretty hard [effort] to write a Steely Dan song. I’m not sure what happened.” Nor is it immediately evident. His words are few and, listening to his lyrics, it’s tough to make out more than the repeated refrain — “have you ever seen the middle man,” and the frail, faded, “run, my son.”
The ‘70s soft rock intentions are transposed with a suntanned psychedelia, overdubbed canyon harmonies, heavy reverb and hand-clap drums. The pop sensibility recalls the Zombies covering My Morning Jacket.
Between his work co-helming Foreign Born and his collaborations with Fool’s Gold, Papercuts, Glasser and Cass McCombs, Popieluch has had his fingerprints on a cluster of notable songs emanating from the last several years of Los Angeles indie. ‘Middle Man’ is easily one of his best -- the sort of tune that Los Angeles does so well, a Kodachrome postcard from the land of the squinting sun, organic guitar pop.
Slated for release by White Iris on Jan. 18, the limited-edition 7-inch operates as impressive advance billing for the forthcoming Big Search record. Popieluch says he’s bowed out of all musical engagements for now to focus on Big Search. If this track’s any indication, it’s a good move.
-- Jeff Weiss
Download: (Pop & Hiss Exclusive)