90FM Album Review: Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
Taylor Christian
tchri473@uwsp.edu





Originally hailing from Agoura Hills, California, Foxygen has successfully followed up their acclaimed major label debut Take the Kids Off Broadway with their brand new mouthful of an album We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic. After being compared to classic rock essentials like the Stones and more recent psych-pop stars MGMT, Foxygen has continued to develop their unique combination of the old and the new scenes of pop music. The duo consists of Jonathan Rado (guitar/keyboards) and Sam France (vocals/lyricist), who cite inspiration from iconic artists ranging from the Brian Jonestown Massacre to the Clash and the Beetles. Before finding breakout success with their first studio album, the band recorded a staggering 10 records during their high school years before taking a college oriented hiatus. Their eventual discovery is largely credited to producer Richard Swift, who worked with Damien Jurado and The Mynabirds. The band recorded their first majorlabel album with Swift shortly after their meeting in 2011, and has shown no sign of slowing since.

With the brand new album, the band has found critical acclaim ranging from CMJ and Pitchfork to the Vancouver Sun. Each of these reviews carries with it one underlying: Foxygen takes heavily from the old, but brings an awareness and an authenticity that makes it unlike anything else. Standout tracks from the new album include “San Francisco”, “Shuggie”, and the album’s title track, where the influence of the Stones channels through powerfully. San Francisco showcases the kind of writer Sam France has developed into, weaving together dreamy descriptions of the city’s landscapes with vivid emotional metaphors and one of the best uses of call-and-response in a refrain we’ve seen in a long time. On the whole, the album carries hints of Tame Impala’s recent album, Lonerism, and adds a whole lot of swagger. Fans of Pond, the Velvet Underground, and Lou Reed should find plenty to love in this phenomenal piece of retro-rock work.