We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic

Written by: BV on 23/06/2013 15:52:40

Foxygen is yet another one of those bands that reeks of their 60’s and 70’s influences in such a way that they really couldn’t have been any clearer – not even if all they ever did was walk around in tie-dye, beads and sandals with massively greasy hair and a distant, glassy look in their eyes. Nonetheless, Foxygen seems to be, not only willing, but hell-bent on bringing this particular sound into the new millennia in a slightly updated, somewhat quirky ‘indie-version’. This album, “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic” also gives a slight hint in that direction at first glance.

As the album opens with the tender and soft vocal harmonies on “In the Darkness” we, as listeners, are instantly treated to a vastly San Francisco-esque soundscape that contains mellow tug-boat bass lines, reverb-drenched piano sounds, mellow yet crunchy guitars and, of course, the strikingly Simon & Garfunkel reminiscent vocals. The happy-go-lucky feel to the soundscape leaves me nodding my head and trying my best to sing along – despite many faulty attempts at reaching that illusive falsetto sound, much to my neighbors’ discomfort.

With “On Blue Mountain” the soundscape grows increasingly psychedelic with the pulsating and eerie organ sounds preluding the haunting vocals. As the drum-work enters and the bass makes a first appearance, the tempo is increased to give it that up-beat edge that most of all reminds me of 90’s indie in a way – though stripped of the sparkly guitars. The music is strikingly pop-sounding, though with an ever-lurking undertone of psychedelia that often leaves a lasting impression on the track, despite often being inaudible for extended periods of time.

On the eclectic title track I find myself making a mental list of contemporary artists that have something in common with Foxygen – when it comes to the certain ‘soft-garage’ sound they’ve got going on I am constantly reminded of the early period of a band like The Setting Son, whilst the vocal work most often reminds me of a slightly fuzzier band - The Black Angels. The title track is, in spite of its short runtime, quite the psychotropic journey that takes the listener through various feeling of paranoia, upbeat party-moods and strangely erratic moods. One thing I’m absolutely digging about it though, is the frequent use of something as simple as hand claps - fuck me, they’re cool even though they’re corny as hell. Just saying.

What Foxygen have done here, seems to be a successful mold of 60’s power-pop, roller-rink psychedelia and fuzz hazes coupled with the sparkling catchiness of 90’s indie. Good job, good job indeed.


Download: On Blue Mountain, In the Darkness, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
For The Fans Of: Allah-Las, The Setting Son, The Black Angels

Release Date 22.01.2013
Breakfast Horse

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