Valby Hallen, Copenhagen, DEN - 26/4
Written by: LF on 31/12/2015 15:04:03
In my eternal quest for finding the very best albums to spend my time in life with, it doesn’t happen very often in a year that an album connects with me as instantly as "Dealer" has done. Falling in love with the sound of a band doesn’t make it particularly easy to review, though, as I doubt a person who doesn’t have the same kind of inclination towards sad atmospheric music as I would fall for this similarly, which is totally understandable. With lyrical bits like "Future love don’t fall apart" or "And it breaks my mother’s heart to know I came back broken" that cling to your brain after listening to the album, it’s obviously a rather thoughtful and melancholic record, but in the midst of all that, also a very hopeful one. Despite my infatuation, though, I’ll still say that Missouri post-rock/emo band Foxing has objectively released some of the very best songs I’ve heard this year - the kind that resonate in the very bones of your body.
The entire album is full of good songs that could all be brought forward as examples of what is so great about this band. It sounds very soft and fragile overall, in part because the instruments used comprise string and brass instruments that add a special texture to the sound, for instance on the introductory "Weave" or the resonating and extremely hopeful "Laundered". Keyboard and guitars are frequently used to stitch together thick underlying layers of comforting sounds upon which enchanting melodies swirl and extend their threads to surround the listener. A couple of tracks here are even instrumental, and especially the string-filled "Winding Cloth" still has no problems communicating as it is brimming with wordless emotion as much as any of the songs that benefit from vocalist and trumpeter Conor Murphy’s contributions.
Murphy performs on top of these compelling soundscapes and through the album, he changes expertly between singing in a dreamy calm way at some points and pressuring his voice into desperate half-screams at others. He is always making good use of his falsetto range in both styles, not least in the acrobatic melodies of "Glass Coughs" and "Eiffel" that make for a double highlight late on the album. He often does both styles in one song as well, for instance in the captivating "Night Channels" where he changes his approach back and forth throughout. Murphy is not the only one that varies his sound, though, as there’s generally a good variation in the amount of instrumentation across the songs here. For instance, the almost purely piano-based “Indica” brings about its own simple shade of melancholy near the middle of the album while the more dynamic and rhythmic single "The Magdalene" with its careful twinkling guitars recalls a radically more outwardly energetic band like Foals.
This is one of those records where no description will ever truly do it justice as so much gets lost in between the lines. It’s a beautiful album throughout and it has a great flow although you could be forgiven for finding it harder and harder to distinguish the songs from each other the further in you listen at first, because of their similar moods. However, this quickly changes as you become familiar with the album, and I will still maintain that the songs here all have their own recognizable melodies and identities to the extent where "Dealer" becomes the kind of record where every song on it can become your favorite one as the album moves and changes with you through your life.
Download: The Magdalene, Eiffel, Night Channels, Glass Coughs
For The Fans Of: Polyenso, empire! empire! (i was a lonely estate), American Football, Prawn
Release date 30.10.2015
Triple Crown Records