Despite the growing popularity of branching out in terms of music genres, it seems that more orchestral hybrids have been forced to take a backseat due to the rise of more guitar-based material. But Missouri emo quintet Foxing seem set to change all that with their mixture of poetic lyrics, tender guitar lines and textured, string and brass based instrumentation.
And on new album Dealer, those elements are certainly what makes this band special. The eleven tracks are simply beautiful, with swirling, slow building melodies impossible to not be captivated by at the forefront. Every track is left to simmer in some way, masterfully transforming the likes of Indica from the bare bones of just vocals and a single lead guitar line to a lush, full band (and orchestra by the sound of it) effort. And it’s all simply deep, gorgeous music to get lost in, especially the two instrumental interludes Winding Cloth and Coda. The former is more interesting than the latter – with an exquisite piano/strings combo intensifying into discordant violins and back again – but both can genuinely only be described as works of art.
It’s obvious that the production of this album has been approached with more than just a musical ear, too. The guitars from Ricky Sampson and Eric Hudson intertwine so well and really create a rich, emotional vibe like in Redwoods or closer Three On A Match. They often sound like waves, too, making the songs seem less like music and more like nature. Singer Conor Murphy also gives a stellar performance on this record, with his voice able to change from mellow whispers to magnificent falsettos at the drop of a hat. The overall sound created, especially on the instrumental offerings sound so atmospheric that they wouldn’t feel out of place on a film soundtrack.
But due to the more subdued mood of the album, there are one or two parts that don’t quite fit and come as a bit of a shock. Some vocal parts of Glass Coughs stray from the usually controlled delivery and falter almost tunelessly, while the middle eight of Eiffel goes off on a tangent altogether. These are minor gripes, and there are plenty of redeeming features in both of these tracks. The way in which Foxing redeem themselves is extremely clever, too. Both of the aforementioned issues involve the guys trying something unexpected and new, and both are followed by beautiful executions of their more familiar sound. This makes it all too easy to overlook any quality dips. Take Laundered, for instance. The second it feels like it’s getting a bit too twee, Murphy comes out with “call me what I am, I’m yours”, one of the most romantic lyrics on the record.
Dealer is a stunning album, there’s no two ways about it. Foxing’s lyrics and normal vocals / guitar / bass / drums setup would make them a good emo band in any aficionado of the genre’s book. But it’s the beautiful orchestral additions that truly set them apart from anyone else. The dreamy Night Channels really comes into its own thanks to the gorgeous lead piano melody that’s sure to captivate anyone. And these more classic instruments do something no one in this genre is doing, at least not on this scale. They add feeling to the songs not just through the usual vocal channel, and the result is simply stunning. Foxing do not just create music; they create pure, unadulterated emotion.
For fans of: Seahaven, The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, Pity Sex
Words by Georgia Jackson
‘Dealer’ by Foxing is out now on Triple Crown Records.