When Foxygen, the California-based duo of singer Sam France and guitarist Jonathn Rado came out with their fantastic yet-ridiculously titled breakthrough record, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic early last year, my interest was immediately piqued. Here was a fresh-faced group playing with an intriguing psychedelic sound that combines the trippy vibes of the 70s with a modern dash of playfulness, how could I not be interested? And frontman France is a star. Exuding the unhinged cockiness and vocal inflections of luminaries such as Mick Jagger, France exudes full confidence on the record and on stage. It seems only great things are possible for Foxygen.
Like all young bands thrust into the spotlight too soon though, things started to unravel a little for the band during its first full headlining tour. News of in-band fighting and jealousy pervade the news when touring member and France’s (former?) girlfriend Elizabeth Fey claimed that Rado was holding France back. France himself was erratic live, seemingly disinterested some nights and then turning around and turning in a star performance the next. All this culminated into a disastrous show in Minneapolis when France fell on stage during a show and broke is leg, leading the band to cancel the rest of their tour. Could this be the end of Foxygen?
It doesn’t seem so. In the intervening months since the disaster, Foxygen seems to have regrouped. And now, they are releasing their follow-up record …And Star Power, a massive 80-minute double record. Almost to the point of bloatedness, with minute and seemingly directionless interludes, …And Star Power definitely shows that Foxygen, at least, are not lost for words. And within the whole record, you will definitely still find those fantastic psychedelic pop pieces that they so finely showcased from 21st Century Ambassadors. One thing you can definitely say then for Foxygen, they will always be interesting and won’t be wont for attention.
Watch the video for single How Can You Really embedded below.
Foxygen – …And Star Power comes out 10/14 via Jagjaguwar (order here)