Sam France's voice has a hint of femininity to it as he introduces us to "In the Darkness," the gateway track to Foxygen’s second album. The L.A. indie-pop duo could have gone the campy route after that, but once the second track, "No Destruction," chimes in, with its convincing ’70s folk rock, you know no silly costumes are needed.
One gets the feeling that each song was a clash of disparate ideas expertly mashed together by the pair. "On Blue Mountain" is a sunny-pop piece dissected to reveal bits of a blues-rock jam — and it works.
And then there is "San Francisco." It is a cut of sweet ‘60s mod pop (think early Stones) that has just enough melody to get stuck in your head without driving you crazy. What will get to you is "Shuggie," not because it’s necessarily infectious pop but because it is challenging pop. I still don’t know if I should be happy or sad while listening to it, or what vibe they were going for, but I’ll keep listening till I do.
The best thing about Foxygen is that they aren’t trying to be the Next Big Thing; they are just two guys having fun with music. Not appearing to take themselves as seriously as their art.
Album: We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
Songs: (1) In the Darkness (2) No Destruction (3) On Blue Mountain (4) San Francisco (5) Bowling Trophies (6) Shuggie (7) Oh Yeah (8) We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic (9) Oh No 2