Since the release of ‘The Albatross’ in 2013, St. Louis’ Foxing have been winning over admirers for their charming blend of emotional indie rock and subtle post-rock. Now with the release of ‘Dealer’, they return with a record that is honest and thrives on their vulnerability as songwriters and musicians, with the final result being an enchanting and thoroughly engaging work.
At its spine is a band who purposely isolated themselves away from the world to explore their self-doubt and to challenge themselves as a band. It definitely sounds like they’ve lived up to the challenge. From the start ‘Weave’ is a wonderful, breezy opener that sets the atmospheric tone and also serves as a closure to ‘The Albatross’. Meanwhile, ‘The Magdalene’ highlights the dynamic drum work of Jon Hellwig who, alongside twiddly guitars, reinforces the poignant sentiment of the track.
I’ll admit on my first initial listens, this album didn’t connect with me. ‘Dealer’ is one of those albums that demands repeated plays. Once you’ve done this, you’ll grasp a firm understanding of what and who Foxing are. Throughout, it treads on the band’s musical and lyrical fragility. ‘Night Channels’ calmly builds to the point where you think the band are going to cave in, yet it explodes with the line of, “Future love don’t fall apart.” One of the albums most poignant and beautiful moments comes in the form of ‘Winding Cloth’. The instrumental number is delivered in a cinematic, post-rock fashion that is truly captivating; sombre pianos and strings leave you feeling mesmerised.
Foxing clearly have perfected the art of drawing listeners in and tugging at their heartstrings. ‘Redwood’ is mournful, documenting the end of a relationship with Conor Murphy’s vocals alongside the band’s musicianship to create a powerful, emotional soundscape.
One standout characteristic ‘Dealer’ has is its tendency to seamlessly drift from one song to the next. ‘Glass Coughs’ follows the aforementioned ‘Redwood’ easily through the bands atmospheric style that gradually crescendos to swirling guitars, before transitioning into ‘Eiffel’ with ringing guitars and punchy drums.
‘Three On A Match’ sees out the album on a fragile note. Led by Murphy’s guilt-ridden vocals (“I’m sorry”), haunting and dour keys complement a grieving horn slide in the middle. It is a fitting finale to a record that weaves throughout with beauty and sophistication.
In conclusion, ‘Dealer’ is an endearing, intricate and delightful record. It plays on your emotions through subtle intensity and cohesive musicianship. With patience and poise, Foxing reward you with a dazzling album.
‘Dealer’ by Foxing is out now on Triple Crown Records.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)