Foxing Deal Out Emotions
Emo revival has definitely been a big thing recently, almost 20 years have passed from the releases of the classic bands in the scene such as Mineral and Texas Is The Reason and now there's a brand new crop of bands that have been breaking through in the last few years paying homage to these bands and have even managed to make those bands become relevant again (see American Football).
This brings us to Foxing, a band from St Louis that mixes a blend of twinkle-daddie style emo with many big grandiose moments similar to that of post-rock bands like Explosions In The Sky and Sigur Ros.
I first heard of this band on their last release Albatross which actually took me a while to get into properly but on this album there are tones of brilliant tapping guitar leads, monumental crescendos, and brilliant soulful vocals. With this in mind I was really interested to hear what they had to offer with this new album Dealer which is out now on Triple Crown Records.
The album opens up with "Weave" which starts with a beautiful sounding clean guitar and some soothing vocals from their very enigmatic front man. The same vocal melody is used throughout the track, which I think could have used a bit more variation, but since this is an intro track I guess it's ok.
The great guitar work is then shown off on "The Magdalene" sporting some more twinkly tapping that has almost become a cliché but it's something I always love both hearing and watching. There's also use of a flute on this track which combined with the shimmering guitars creates a really nice, calming atmosphere that you can all chill to.
"Night Chambers" is the next track which opens with just a piano intro and more quiet vocals. The track builds and builds and slowly becomes more layered before it reaches a blinding crescendo that features big cinematic instrumentals and cries of 'future love don't fall apart' that sounds just amazing.
One thing I really enjoy about Foxing's music is how they incorporate lots of different instruments that aren't usually seen in rock music such as the flute and trumpets on "Laundered" that reminds me a lot of American Football as well as a lot of post-rock bands.
Another thing I have to give tremendous praise to is the deep poetic lyrics throughout this record. One example is in "Indica" that focuses on the Bass player's time as a soldier in Afghanistan. There are some truly hard hitting lines on this track such as 'do I haunt their parents dreams' and 'could I give back the sounds of their children's screams?' which creates the atmosphere of the horrors of war.
The great lyricism also shines through on "Redwoods" which is a song about the loss of a loved one that features lots of layered instrumentals and deals with the grief that comes with having to bury someone that you had held dear.
"Redwoods" is followed by "Glass Coughs" and on this track there is an amazing vocal line in the chorus which really shows off their front man's abilities as a singer and his voice is the best thing about this band sound wise.
But that isn't to say the rest of the band is poor in comparison as the strong post-rock instrumentals in "Eiffel" create many stirring emotions on their own, the same can be said about many of the instrumental tracks on here such as "Winding Cloth" and "Coda" (more on "Winding Cloth" as I didn't actually realise anything was playing during Coda lol) as I feel that chord progressions can be just as good, if not better than vocals and lyrics when it comes to making the listener experience certain emotions that the band are trying to get across and this is something that Foxing are amazing at.
From start to finish this album throws so much at you from the anguished yet soothing vocals to the majestic crescendos from the rest of the band and it creates a relaxed, chilled but also very melancholic feeling throughout.
However if I did have to criticize the album it would be that it does get quite repetitive which makes it difficult for individual songs to stand out. This album is something that feels a lot more natural as an entire piece of work with each track being musical movements rather than songs, a lot like how Godspeed You! Black Emperor approach their music.
If you are into this then I would definitely recommend 'Harmlessness' by The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die that came out earlier this year which features a lot of the same ideas you'll hear on 'Dealer' but perhaps in a more upbeat way.
Overall this record is a great, expansive piece of work that will set Foxing aside from a lot of the other emo revival bands around at the moment and hopefully they can start coming back to the UK a lot more after this release.