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Is Exotic Bait

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iTunes Review

With two members of Cold War Kids (one being vocalist Nathan Willett) at the core of French Style Furs, it’s hard not to think of CWC when listening to Is Exotic Bait. The lyrics are courtesy of mid-century philosopher/mystic/poet/monk Thomas Merton. Willett absorbed Merton's books on a CWK tour, and they deeply impressed the singer. With Willett’s marvelous, gangly yelp and disgruntled croon, lines like “I worry about the abbot coming up here/to inspect/and finding a copy of Newsweek/under the bed” make perfect sense—especially set (as they are in “Solitary Life”) to funky horns and percussion that seem like David Byrne and The Fire Engines collaborating. From the powerhouse opening track, “3 Friends” (which may have been an ode to Merton’s lifelong friendship with two intellectually and culturally likeminded college friends), to the willowy, weepy “Clairvaux Prison” (a lament to an abbey turned to a prison: “The bureaucrats, wiping the blood off their fingers”), the depths of Merton’s writings and the passion of French Style Furs’ music seem made for each other. It's a remarkable work.

Customer Reviews

Synthy, dense, radical...

CWK + a splash of We Barbs + Merton's words = kicka$$ to the max!! Good thought, fellas...

I've Found my Band

There is just something that speaks to me about Cold War Kids. From the first note of "We Used to Vacation" to the last fade of "Bitter Poem," their LPs are incredible. The EPs, amazing as well.

Therefore, it's a no-brainer that I would love the new album by the Nathan and Maust creation: French Style Furs. I'll support everything they do that is true to themselves - and "Is Exotic Bait" is just that. You can hear the electronica bleed through the songs that wasn't present on early CWK releases but it absolutely fits the new style this side-project has.

Once again, Nathan's voice soars over each track. You can feel the emotion and the connection. He means what he sings. But the best parts of this album however, are the driving bass lines by Maust and the powerful drumming by Nathan Warkentin of We Barbarians. It's funky and it's new. It's the perfect definition of a super-group. I want elements of both bands and I want it to mesh. It does.

What I love most about these guys' creations is the snapshot each album is in their personal and group evolution. Rapidly changing through every release. This is that. This is them. This is French Style Furs.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Featuring Nathan Willett and Matt Maust of Cold War Kids and We Barbarians' Nathan Warkentin, French Style Furs go deeper into the soulful yet punky sounds of the group members' main projects. Maust and Willett connected with Warkentin while in New York City and began working on music together in early 2013, taking the project's name from a Greenpoint furrier. While Warkentin and Maust laid down basic tracks, Willett adapted the poetry of 20th century monk Thomas Merton -- whose writing grappled...
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Is Exotic Bait, French Style Furs
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