Foxygen exhales new album ‘Hang’

By: Jason Smith ~Staff Writer~

Photo courtesy of | Sam France (left) and Jonathan Rado (right) of alternative music group Foxygen released Hang on Jan. 20. Each song in the album features a symphony orchestra comprised of more than 40 musicians.

The band Foxygen is made up of Sam France and Jonathan Rado, along with other assorted supporting members. Hailing from sunny California, they cover a wide range of music styles that call back memories to the bygone days of rock and roll. Their last album …And Star Power, which is their White Album of sorts, was an experimental LP spanning a dichotomy of sounds. It is with much curiosity that I looked forward to their latest release, Hang.

Hang hit the Internet and the world on inauguration day, and that is no strange coincidence for them or us. Hang as an album has shades of the band Chicago and a hint of Bowie’s Young Americans. This is France and Rado’s take on Americana, and it is a beautifully refreshing album that only occupies 32 minutes of your time.

The first single, “Follow The Leader,” was ushered in with a simple but joyful video that hinted at what was to come. Visually, it played like the Coke commercial that ended Mad Men, and it is a great opening track. “Avalon” follows next and is less energetic but a very solid song.

The next few songs, “Mrs. Adams,” “America” and “On Lankershim,” represent Foxygen at their musical best. France’s vocals have all the highs and lows that prove his place as a rock singer.

“Mrs. Adams” is peak Foxygen. When Sam France croons, “Here I am, In this Hollywood bar, Press my face against the glass,” it feels like a standout track.

Hang reminds me of The Doors’ album The Soft Parade except on that album The Doors switched the orchestra out every other song. Hang is a modern progressive rock masterpiece that conveniently packs everything into a cozy 32 minutes with nonstop orchestrations.

This record is a beautiful journey through Americana, an album by a band full of surprises. As a Foxygen fan, I look forward to their continued musical progression. I eagerly await what next evolution Sam France and Jonathan Rado have in store for old listeners and new.