Foxygen ’s Musical Journey ‘…And Star Power’


Seattle – The most important fact you need to know about Foxygen’s new album …And Star Power is that it is not simply just a record. It is a complete musical experience. Sam France and Jonathan Rado have come back strong after the success of their first full-length last year and produced a double album that is beaming with variety and ingenuity.

…And Star Power is split into four acts. Each side of the musical journey has a particular mood and purpose. The first act, titled The Hits and Star Power Suite, is the high-energy beginning of the rock acid trip. It is here that Foxygen has transformed into their alter-ego punk group. “Star Power II: Star Power Nite” serves as a theme song for this leveled up rock band. But the single “How Can You Really” is able to stand on its own even when apart of this musical journey.

The second act, The Paranoid Side, further showcases the band’s ability to diversify their music with tracks ranging between acoustic ballads, to psych-rock, to steel guitar folk songs. Scream: Journey Through Hell, the third act, is scream-y and screech-y in the best way possible. The dissonant, space-time odyssey intro sets the mood for the rest of side three. Lead vocalist France, really lets it all out, making for an emotional sequence of pure energy in “Can’t Contextualize My Mind.” The final act of the double album, Hang On To Love, is a soft ending that is needed for an epic musical adventure. It features only two tracks that bring the listener back down from the higher cosmic plane.

A project of 24 tracks can risk losing listeners’ attention but this album’s diversity entertains and keeps you interested. Even those that aren’t the biggest fans of concept albums can enjoy …And Star Power purely for the musicianship and variety of genres. Foxygen may be considered an indie rock band, but the album is much more than just catchy guitar lines and great vocals. They dip into jazz, punk, ska, country and more. Their talent is evident via Rado—the band’s musical backbone—and France’s impressive vocal range and his ability to adapt to the changing mood or style. One hears the musical influences of The Beatles, Queen, Bob Dylan and Fleetwood Mac. But this underlying feeling of nostalgia also presents itself in more subtle ways like a surf rock bass line or a harmony that reminds you of a fleeting summer memory.

One of the most exciting aspects of the album is the incredible live performance feel to it. Every track, even the ballads, captures the spirit of a concert. Rather than feeling over-polished, Foxygen provides the thrilling improvisation of a live experience.  That rawness and vulnerability is very rewarding.  You hear France lose himself in the music. Intros and outros include jam sessions. The chemistry and passion of the band is felt though the sound waves. That sort of authenticity and genuine love for the art gives this record immense value.

Foxygen just began a North American tour that continues through the end of the month before heading to the UK and Europe. …And Star Power is out October.

Jess Keller

Jess Keller

Jess has been up and down the California coast but now has landed in Seattle, Washington. With a degree in Film and Media from UC Santa Barbara, she takes part in music journalism, photography and film projects. Her iPod shuffles through hardcore, Midwest indie rap, dreamy electro-pop and everything in between. You are most likely to find her jamming out to vinyl with a good cup of coffee and computer or cat in lap…sometimes both.
Jess Keller