Foxygen: We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of blah blah blah hipster music (revised)


I’m talking to my grandma who lost her arms in the war

The aliens and armory that bond hers to God’s door

Now you think that I don’t know but I know you to know quite well

That I caught you sipping milkshakes in the parlor of the hotel


Not so dynamic duo, Foxygen, recently released their sophomore album with Jagjaguwar entitled “We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic”, a title alluding the listener to the out-there-crazy-original-one-of-a-kind-unique sound awaiting them within the record. Except this out-there-crazy-original-one-of-a-kind-unique sound is a fallacy, the entire tone of the record swivels around psychedelic soft rock with familiar track effects and indecipherable lyrics which ultimately leave the listener with the feeling of “…where have I heard this before?”

22 year olds Jonathan Rado and Sam France have been experimenting together since their early high school years in L.A, and will no doubt continue to experiment until they rifle through all of the albums that inspire them and finally come up with their own playful sound. Recently in an interview with pitchfork, the duo proclaimed:


“We love 60’s and 70’s music; we can’t relate to modern music very well. I don’t even know any new bands.”

Without diving into the overwhelming “hipster” feeling of that statement, there is no denying that simply listening to their single “shuggie” any listener could come to that very conclusion.

The first song on the record, “In the Darkness”, is reminiscent of Sgt. Pepper’s era Beatles mixed with the early sounds of The Rolling stones and The Velvet Underground. I was reminded by the end of the album of a toddler with water colors who cant decide what color to use so he just smears it all into a mucky brown. There is an excess of vocal effects and wide range of random musical instruments, all performed by the duo and their back up drummer and bassist. With so much manipulation and so many random instruments, there is an enormous difficulty to replicate such playful sound live with only four performers rendering the team inconsistent.

Speaking only of the record, the quality is adequate, producer Richard Swift did as best he could to organize the hailstorm of instruments resulting in a tolerable mix. The band plays around with dramatic tempo changes and transitions, delays and vocal effects that, in my personal opinion, distract from the lyrical “genius”.

hipster music, a delicacy all its own. “Hipsters” are a sub-culture of men and women who reject social norms and tend to know way too much about a certain subject, in this case, music we normal folk have never heard of. Foxygen is the exact type of music Reckless Records would play in the heart of wicker park, desperately calling out “HIPSTERS ASSEMBLE!”


Posted on March 5, 2013, in Per Scuola. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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