Where to begin? Explaining this album is no easy feat. Here are twelve songs that are all individually interesting but far more impressive as a collective. Diverse yet cohesive, Foxing’s ‘Nearer My God’ unintentionally borrows the sounds of other artists to make music free from restraints.
From the Everything Everything style, high pitched vocals of ‘Grand Paradise’, to the brooding influence of The Gaslight Anthem and The National towards the album’s tail end on ‘Crown Candy’ and ‘Lambert’, Foxing refuse any easy categorisation.
Despite the familiarity in aspects of their sound, this is no copycat routine. It’s the result of a band unafraid to make the music they want to, rather than taking the easier route. Their ability to craft a soaring soundscape is no more evident than on ‘Bastardizer’, a track which travels from the guitars of ‘80s ballads to the grandeur of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ via the unexpected appearance of bagpipes. It sounds like this blended with the album’s crunching guitars and electronic beats that require effort to listen to. The brain isn’t used to processing these sounds alongside each other.
There are welcome moments in among the layering and drama which allow the sound to breathe. ‘Trapped in Dillard’’s minimalism allows Conor Murphy’s voice to make an impact and this simplicity is reflected in the band’s lyrics, which pack a strong punch in a short phrase. Repeated refrains such as “I wanna drown with my eyes closed” from ‘Five Cups’ and “does anybody want me at all?” from the title track are unsettling and powerful.
Foxing have released an album that is difficult to dip in and out of. It’s best listened to in the order in which its presented, with an open mind and a willingness to lay back, listen and take it all in. Somehow, in the midst of the pulsing bass of ‘Gameshark’ and the ballroom strings of ‘Heartbeats’, it starts to make sense.
‘Nearer My God’ by Foxing is released on 10th August on Triple Crown Records.
Words by Kathryn Black (@kathrynblack07)