...And Star Power is the new double album from Californian indie rock duo, Foxygen. This experimental album - created in the duo’s home and various other locations across the ‘city of angels,’ combines two different sides to create a cinematic auditory adventure for all.
Foxygen is comprised of vocalist Sam France and Jonathan Rado, on guitar and keys. Hailing from Los Angeles, the duo began the band in 2005, as 15-year-old high school freshmen. They first gained attention for their music when their debut album, Take the Kids Off Broadway, was released by Jagjaguwar in the summer of 2012.
The following year, they came out with a full prominent LP produced by Richard Swift, titled We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic. The album invited great reviews and soon Foxygen began making their wave. After a few dramas surrounding their tours, including a broken leg while performing, and the cancelling of their European tour in the interest of the band’s ‘creative health’ – France had an on-stage meltdown at SXSW in 2013 - the band managed to get their act together and released their third album …And Star Power in October 2014.
Having listened to their entire back catalogue and having watched their live sessions on YouTube, I couldn’t wait for them to come to London so I could see them live. I had heard great things about their on-stage performances, and thankfully, all I had heard and read was true. Foxygen were incredibly good, erratic even, live. I really hadn’t expected France and Rado to come out in full festival-venue-force in Camden’s Electric Ballroom.
The duo were joined by two additional players and three backup singers/dancers. The seven, joined by their instruments, made for quite the crowded stage. The stage background was pretty simple, and although France rarely sings with a concise lyrical manner - not a Foxygen priority most of the time - the full blast energy that France threw at us that night was very captivating. The sound vibrations from the strumming of his guitar could be felt throughout the audience’s bodies, leaving them feeling electrocuted by his performance. If his voice alone wasn’t captivating enough, he climbed the rig of the stage too. Imagine Iggy pop, Jagger, Morrison and The Beatles all rolled into one, and that’s Foxygen.
Although many have praised Foxygen for being a really good band, encapsulating all great classic rock and psychedelic musicians from the 1960s to 1990s, I personally think they are a great departure and progression from these artists, really taking their music to a fresh and contemporary level. Everyone I play their single, San Fransisco to thinks they create pop psychedelic ballads, or imagine a Wes Anderson-y coating on music. But one thing I am certain of is that they are arguably one of the best bands performing live today. You should catch them next time they perform live, or have a listen to their new album.
Find out Foxygen's tour dates.
Words: Dimas Bian
Photography: Ange Ceballos