Frequently compared to rock icons such as The Rolling Stones and David Bowie, which have been warranted in the past, Foxygen goes a decidedly different route. The L.A. act, composed of the duo Sam France and Jonathan Rado, emulates the Day-Glo ebullience of producer Dave Fridmann’s Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev albums, with kitchen-sink ambition courtesy of a 40-piece orchestra, assisted by Matthew White and conducted by Trey Pollard.
Get a load of these guys. These two young guys in the corner booth of a small bar. Classy joint. Beautiful ugly woman sits at the taps. Frail handsome man with a rag mops around her drink. Collectin' the dust. There are other people in the bar is what I'm saying but forget them we wanna focus on the men in the booth. There's something about these two guys. Some sort of exotic mystique. They got an air of show business about em. Like talented actors. Like they've seen triumph and scandal and delirium. How old are they?
Could be 37 year olds playing 25 year olds. Could be kids dressed as adults. All I know is these two young guys are lookin' good and bored and ready for some kinda seismic activity.
The tall one name of 'France' gets up goes to the bathroom. Comes back with a condom from the machine. Stuffs it in his wallet where
the other one used to be. He's muttering his debut novella to Himself. The other one, all cheek bone structure and hair goes by 'Rado.' He's tapping out a rhythm with chopsticks up against the table which he's muted with a napkin. Erratic thuds. Rado's just now written an album in his mind and he's ready for a milkshake. They've each got different hair styles. Different builds. Different ways. But they seem to move as a unit. Like a two legged dog attached to some kind of cart mechanism that follows the drifter around. Snarls when I try to pat it. They don't seem dangerous but they could be the guys they were ta... lking about on the news. Is that why they turned the TV off when they came in? Bar tender didn't bat an eyelid when the Rado one yanked the power chord out.
These guys are American that's for sure. West Coast Vampires. They're in the entertainment business. Immigrant ancestors. Real mix of blood types. Gamblers and magnates and Hustlers and POWs. All distilling down to true lyrics and songs that matter in the San Fernando valley and every other place too. Real operators. Kinda guys that discover young talent and harvest it into superstar outfits. Kinda guys that assemble the most talented musicians they could find from LA to Long Island for things like exotic show band arrangements and ambient beauty. Real guys. Guys that make moves. From one place to another.
Besides, Foxygen was never just one band.
Foxygen is the Big Bang of two combusting minds. It's the splayed Galaxy of polar geniuses Sam France and Jonathan Rado. It's a handshake with a knife behind your back. A cosmic, Californian death-game of highway chicken. A sleepless night in a five star
hotel. Truth or dare. Foxygen is the risk of pushing your best friend off the ledge just to see if they can fly. You listen to this album properly. You take in each moment. Each new melody that threads forward from the fingertips of one of this
generation's finest piano men in Jonathan Rado. And you fall in line behind Sam France's sprawling and reckless lyric. Witness his mastery. Feel them struggle against the walls of their own creations. Follow them there. To the perimeter. To the exit sign. And let your eyes fog up with thoughts like 'For at least this moment I understand how cold blooded and beautiful I am.' Notice that the two young guys aren't there anymore. They're outside looking for another joint to haunt. They're already out of sight.
And now you're on a train. Facing the wrong way so the trees are passing in front of you. And you're looking forward but everything is getting further away. These nowhere towns somehow sound good. Like the city is heavy, but out here we float a little bit. America is too big of a boat to sink. Don't sink baby. Hang.
FACTS ABOUT HANG
- Hang is Foxygen's first proper studio record, recorded in Los Angeles, CA at Electro Vox Studios.
- Hang was written and produced entirely by Foxygen
- Hang features Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips, as well as Brian D'Addario and Michael D'Addario of the Lemon Twigs as players on the record.
- Hang features a 40+ piece symphony orchestra on every track. Trey Pollard from Spacebomb arranged and conducted the orchestral parts, with additional arranging from Matthew E. White.
- No computers were used in the process of making Hang. It was recorded & mixed entirely on 2" tape and the vinyl lacquers were cut directly from master tapes.
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