Multi-instrumentalists Sam France and Jonathon Rado first formed Foxygen in 2005 as 15-year- old high school freshman. After attending different universities and attempting to form their own bands separate from each other they felt unfulfilled. This triggered France to pay a visit to Rado and so began their work on creating their first studio album ‘Take the Kids off Broadway.’
After signing to the super indie label Jagjaguwar in 2012 they have now released their second full length album, ‘We are the Ambassadors of Peace & Magic.’ Listening to this American rock duo’s sound, it is clear they have been influenced by 1960s psychedelia. It boasts similarities to The Beatles and Rolling Stones when they were in their most rocky, drug-fuelled, psychedelic stage of music. The album is the success of producer Richard Swift, recorded at his Freedom Studio last year it is a triumph for all involved.
This majestic pair have taken about 100+ songs and compiled them into a nine track album full of whimsical, mysterious and at times completely baffling lyrical genius. The ridiculously titled album begins with ‘In the Darkness,’ the on-going comparison to older musicians can be made with this track. Featuring a heavy drum beat, soft vocals and an audience applause playing in the background, it brings back that 1960s nostalgia.
The melancholic start is something the band continues with throughout the record. Taking different instruments like flutes and xylophones means they have a different sound to most musicians right now. And a different attitude, taking the hippy, free-loving and 60s influence to the absolute extreme, their music is made to be played in a grunge club or festival for people to sway hallucinogenically to.
‘On Blue Mountain’ holds similarities of Elvis’ ‘Suspicious minds. We can live on without her/ like living in the sunset resembles We can’t go on together/ with suspicious minds. Taking away this comparison at the end when they evolve into a rocky outburst of electric guitar and haunting vocals. ‘San Francisco’ is placed perfectly in the middle of the track list, the lyrics are written as a conversation between the singer and a woman, I left my love in San Francisco/ that’s ok I was born in LA.
The Avante garde band ends the album with ‘Oh No,’ a slow and pretty track once again involving another person’s voice. This time a deep man’s voice can be heard, speaking as though he were doing a television cast the whole song feels like it is sucking you into a deep hole but not in a bad way. It’s mesmerising but creepy, terrifying and intelligent, everything the album is throughout. It ends with only the piano and a high-pitched voice making a poignant end to a brilliant album.
‘We are the Ambassadors for Peace & Magic’ is out now.