In the Darkness
On Blue Mountain
We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
The debut full-length release from the duo of Sam France and Jonathan Rado—a.k.a. Foxygen—is exactly what we'd been hoping for. In 2011, Foxygen unleashed the EP Take the Kids Off Broadway, which encouraged careful and gleeful discovery, layer by layer, revealing two talented guys with an uncanny skill for harvesting the past in order to nurture the future. On We Are, they further refine their methods. Lou Reed, The Kinks, and The Beatles all flavor the outstanding "No Destruction" and "In the Darkness" (we'll let you discover the configurations). The title track is an ultra-cool '60s rocker with a touch of Elvis (or Suicide, take your pick), and "Shuggie" is a perfect hybrid of contemporary indie pop, Neil Diamond, and vintage soul. "Oh Yeah" is what The Jackson Five might've sounded like had they been produced by Richard Swift (the production guru here). The smooth genre-splicing that deftly glues together "On Blue Mountain" is genius; fat bass lines and Elton John piano notes downshift into sultry, late-night meandering. Then vintage organs and shiny choruses rise to a blissful finish in a rush of chaotic guitar squalls. Did we use the word "genius" yet?