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scene

Foxygen to release new album

| Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Foxygen_WEBEMILY DANAHER | The Observer
It’s been 21 long months since the release of Foxygen’s debut full-length album, “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic.” The album, released in January 2013, brought the California-based band under the spotlight of many an indie rock listener ­— the album was dressed to impress from top to bottom with the band’s strange and engaging lyrical style, broad range of instruments and deeply experimental composition style. The duo, consisting of singer Sam France and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Rado, has been playing together for nearly 10 years (according to an interview with Pitchfork) and became a definite “band to watch” last year, performing shows at both Pitchfork Music Festival and SXSW as part of their tour. Metacritic, a site that averages the reviews of albums from all over the web, designated the album an 8.0, and it won spot number eleven on The Observer’s “Top 50 Albums of 2013.”

This summer, the duo announced its second album, entitled “…And Star Power.” The album is to be released via Jagjaguwar Records. On the album page, it is described as “cinematic auditory adventure for the speedy freaks, skull krunchers, abductees and misfits” — a promise that won’t come as a shock to anyone familiar with the Foxygen Modus Operandi. Along with the album announcement, the band released the single “How Can You Really,” a song that sets a high bar for the rest of the album. The song, brought in by a forlorn and very catchy keyboard riff, leads France’s falsetto vocals, musing over a relationship in the past-perfect tense. He ends his chorus with “how ‘bout you go find somebody who can love you?” The song sounds like a bonus track from Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” — both the lyrics and the use of instruments portray the callused ability to face the reality of lost love.

How fitting it is, then, that just as “Rumours” was the creative collateral of the tension and unrest caused by the end of several relationship breakups within the band, the brilliance of “How Can You Really” and, perhaps, the rest of “…And Star Power” comes from a band like Foxygen. The band has become almost as famous for its hiccups as an act as for its success as a songwriting team. France, known for his over-the-top onstage presence (climbing on sound and structural equipment while on stage, hitting himself with the microphone) ended up falling of stage a breaking his leg at a show in Minneapolis last summer.  Additionally, France made ripples in the online music community due to an outburst at SXSW 2013, in which he yelled and cussed out audience members for heckling him, challenging the heckler to “come up on the stage and talk to me.” Additionally, according to Pitchfork, the band has had some internal issues as well, with Rado and France fighting over members’ independent projects. According to a Tumblr post by France’s girlfriend (which has since been taken down), Rado had France take his solo project off the internet, although he has since released his own.

The name of France’s solo project? “Star Power.” In recent updates, the band has told multiple interviewers that they are happy and argument free, and as the name of their new album suggests, grudges have not been held and both members of the duo are bringing in material. Hopefully the new album will bring as much happiness and harmony as the band is experiencing, and as much peace and magic as their debut brought us.

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About Thom Behrens

Thom is working to get a degree in Computer Engineering and, if he can pull it off, will graduate in 2016. In his free time, Thom likes to rip on Pitchfork, read books and hang out with Jay Michuda. Thom enjoys the chipotle alfredo sauce from the dining hall and is proud to represent the Dirty South Bend on campus.

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