Foxygen

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Foxygen is the Los Angeles-bred songwriting duo of Sam France (vocals, Olympia, Wash., 22 years old) and Jonathan Rado (guitar/keyboards, NYC, 22). They are the raw, de-Wes Anderson-ization of The Rolling Stones, Kinks, Velvets, Bowie, etc. that a whole mess of young people desperately need. They create a sometimes-impressionistic, sometimes-hyper-real portrait of sounds from specific places and times. Yet, it never comes across as anything but absolutely modern music. They bring the manic, freewheeling qualities of an artist like Ariel Pink to those aforementioned influences to make for one of the most refreshing listens of the year. They are the real deal and total savants. Their albums are love letters to vinyl collections. The first track, "Abandon my Toys," only gives you two seconds of electronic soundery before acoustic instruments take over along with a vocal that sounds channeled in by a medium. "Why Did I Get Married?" plays like a mournful lounge act until about the two minute mark, when it starts to crash into something else, and a gooey kind of Ray Davies vocal gives way to shouts and barks. After you listen to even a few songs on the album, any attempt to define its genre will start with a discussion and end with a shrug, maybe a "rock and roll?" or a "psychedelic?" And that's how shit needs to be said. More question marks. Less periods. Less declarations. Cause it's only questions that can take us where we need to be, to a place of profound and active ignorance. As a tiny organism adrift on a sea of infinite nuance, ignorance is the only honest state of being. And Take the Kids off Broadway is an album full of question marks.

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