Foxygen: Seeing Other People (Jagjaguwar) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

Foxygen

Seeing Other People

Jagjaguwar

Jun 06, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


According to the personal letter that Sam France—one half of bittersweet duo, Foxygen—attached to new album, Seeing Other People, making a suggestion to see other people to someone you're in a relationship with is another way of saying, "Let's end shit." Also addressed in the memo is a comment to fans to stop asking if Foxygen is breaking up. Francis says that Foxygen (now six full-lengths in) was never a band, but duos can still split up, right? Foxygen has been around for a while, chopping up funky rock cliches, but never have I crossed the path of any modern music buff who is concerned with Foxygen's status as a...okay, not a band, sorry.

Forever waving their freak flag, France and possible revolutionary, Jonathan Rado, will not be flapping a white flag. Each Foxygen album comes with death and rebirth, France says. France continues to live, learn, and love, but he's saying adios to the drugs, the partying, the touring circus, beating himself up, facilities, and whatever else he is rambling and muttering about on Seeing Other People. There's a loose swagger throughout the nine songs; Foxygen does not care. Are Rado and France (drummer Jim Keltner in tow) half-defeated, or very tired? Naming a song "Flag At Half-Mast" and mentioning that "Jesus died for all of his sins" within the lyrics is telling. It seems that Foxygen rolled through Seeing Other People, making new music for the sake of making music.

While penning material for Seeing Other People, France was also writing a soon-to-be-published memoir, Sam Francisco: Confessions of an Indie Rock Star, about Foxygen and the music industry, for which France knows rough stories. Having releases titled ...And Star Power (2014) and We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic (2013) doesn't automatically grant France Indie Star Power, but those two albums are rather decent; he can't be denied. Although, Seeing Other People probably adds neutrality to his case.

France would rather powder his nose than work ("Work"), as Keltner's bass drum falls perfectly between Rado's piano lines. The smooth-tastic bass on "Mona" keeps the song together, and we can hear underpinning of Iggy Pop's The Idiot in the disco and violin of "Face the Facts." Father John Misty fans would approve of "Livin' a Lie;" "The Thing Is" raves of fun ("I'm a winner, five-piece chicken dinner, yeah!"); and you might want to smoke a cigarette to "News," feet crossed on the coffee table until the searing guitar is unleashed.

It would be okay if Foxygen wanted to call it quits—everything ends. As another cliche, Seeing Other People's last song is "The Conclusion." If it happens to be Foxygen's last track, France and Rado go out with a zigzag, a squeak, and a murmur. (www.foxygentheband.com

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