MARCUS FOSTER ‘Rushes & Reeds’ Release date: 6th June
aaamusic | On 07, Jun 2011
Marcus Foster releases his new single, ‘Rushes & Reeds’ on the 6 June through Communion/Geffen Records. It is taken from the debut album, ‘Nameless Path’ which will be released in the autumn.
Marcus Foster could have had it easy. He could have dropped names; doors could have flung open. Had he pursued the frequently garish route of your usual Next Big Thing contender, he’d have got it quite easily, T4 specials and all the rest of it.
But Marcus Foster is no ordinary singer songwriter, and so he was never going to be quite so easily tempted into the tried and tested route of overnight success and instant fame. “Organic” is an awfully clichéd word, but his slow and stealthy gestation into a new artist of genuine note has nevertheless been just that. When you hear his songs, you realise it could never really have gone any other way.
‘Nameless Path’ was recorded at the beginning of 2011 at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth under the expert supervision of Communion’s Ian Grimble in the producer’s chair. Surrounded by his band and friends, the 13 tracks on Nameless Path sound as though they’ve been discovered from a golden age of music.
Marcus is keen to distance himself from the greats, but the spirit of prime Van Morrison is very much self-evident. It’s a raw, soul-soaked, bluesy rock’n’roll record, rich with languor and melancholic life. Not bad for a 24 year old. Marcus Foster was born in London. He was six years old when he felt inexplicably drawn to the piano for the first time, and began to take lessons. This was unusual, he points out, because although his family were a family of music lovers, none had a particular penchant for playing themselves. But Marcus did, and he became quietly obsessive about it.
By his early teens, he had discovered his artist father’s Bob Dylan records, and his journey was now well underway, sparking an interest that would take him backwards rather than forwards. This means that while friends at school were lamenting the loss of Kurt Cobain and obsessing over an emergent Britpop, Marcus was instead stumbling into a kaleidoscopic world of Tom Waits, Van Morrison and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
He took a degree in Fine Art, specialising in sculpture, and finally an MA, which he completed just recently. It was while studying for his MA at the Royal College of Art that Charles Saatchi discovered his work, and promptly snapped up one of his creations. Saatchi was not the only one who liked what he saw: his degree show was subsequently exhibited across Italy and Greece.
Marcus contributed one song to the Twilight soundtrack, entitled Let Me Sign, sung by his school friend Robert Pattinson and two songs in the road movie Five Dollars a Day starring Christopher Walken and Sharon Stone, this was enough to light a fire under Marcus’s name, and create an awful lot of premature excitement.
With astonishing rapidity, he had now became a word-of-mouth sensation, and signed to Communion/Geffen Records shortly before Christmas 2010. Communion Records is the label owned by Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, Kevin Jones, and Nameless Path’s producer Ian Grimble.
“It’s an exciting time certainly,” he understates. “And I’m still amazed, frankly, that all this interest has sprung up so quickly.”
Much of it makes him understandably wary: “I’ve been lucky enough to see what fame can do to somebody up close, and I have to say that I wouldn’t want anything like that for myself, not for all the money in the world. But I would like to continue to make music, and to perform it. It feels natural, and good.”
He certainly sounds like he was born for little else.