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Feren Isles

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  1. 1.
    Natural Selection
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  2. 2.
    Unsettled Affairs
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    Survival
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Feren Isles is the solo project of Montreal-based musician Les Friesen, who bridges the gap between experimental musical expression and infectious synth-driven pop.
Growing up in a small Mennonite community in rural Manitoba, he spent his adolescence covertly listening to pop music on the radio while recording his own songs on a salvaged single track cassette recorder, using a Casio keyboard.
This early and rebellious interest in subversive composing was further explored when he escaped his close-nit and religiously conservative community for Winnipeg, where he eagerly played marimba, trumpet and synths in indie bands Firebonfire and Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers. While formally studying avant-garde music by day, his shows with experimental performance-art band Love out of Ashes drew controversy as they would often perform more inebriated than their audience.
Upon moving to Montréal, he began developing his sound and writing material as a recluse solo artist while completing graduate studies in music theory. This mix of sleek production, irreverent performance and academic prowess is a rarity in the music industry, causing some to compare Friesen with the likes of fellow Montrealer Chilly Gonzalez.

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