"Hang" is a magical concoction of pastiche. It somehow manages to be both maximalist and nuanced, both self-aware and endearing. While they owe great debts to their timeless inspirations, Foxygen's flawless production may have ensured that they've created a timeless record of their own.
Favorite track: On Lankershim.
Get a load of these guys. These two young guys in the corner booth of a small bar. Classy joint. Beautiful ugly woman sits at the taps. Frail handsome man with a rag mops around her drink. Collectin' the dust. There are other people in the bar is what I'm saying but forget them we wanna focus on the men in the booth. There's something about these two guys. Some sort of exotic mystique. They got an air of show business about em. Like talented actors. Like they've seen triumph and scandal and delirium. How old are they? Could be 37 year olds playing 25 year olds. Could be kids dressed as adults. All I know is these two young guys are lookin' good and bored and ready for some kinda seismic activity.
The tall one name of 'France' gets up goes to the bathroom. Comes back with a condom from the machine. Stuffs it in his wallet where the other one used to be. He's muttering his debut novella to Himself.
The other one, all cheek bone structure and hair goes by 'Rado.' He's tapping out a rhythm with chopsticks up against the table which he's muted with a napkin. Erratic thuds. Rado's just now written an album in his mind and he's ready for a milkshake.
They've each got different hair styles. Different builds. Different ways. But they seem to move as a unit. Like a two legged dog attached to some kind of cart mechanism that follows the drifter around. Snarls when I try to pat it. They don't seem dangerous but they could be the guys they were talking about on the news. Is that why they turned the TV off when they came in? Bar tender didn't bat an eyelid when the Rado one yanked the power chord out.
These guys are American that's for sure. West Coast Vampires. They're in the entertainment business. Immigrant ancestors. Real mix of blood types. Gamblers and magnates and Hustlers and POWs. All distilling down to true lyrics and songs that matter in the San Fernando valley and every other place too. Real operators. Kinda guys that discover young talent and harvest it into superstar outfits. Kinda guys that assemble the most talented musicians they could find from LA to Long Island for things like exotic show band arrangements and ambient beauty. Real guys. Guys that make moves. From one place to another.
Besides, Foxygen was never just one band.
Foxygen is the Big Bang of two combusting minds. It's the splayed Galaxy of polar geniuses Sam France and Jonathan Rado. It's a handshake with a knife behind your back. A cosmic, Californian death-game of highway chicken. A sleepless night in a five star hotel. Truth or dare. Foxygen is the risk of pushing your best friend off the ledge just to see if they can fly. You listen to this album properly. You take in each moment. Each new melody that threads forward from the fingertips of one of this generation's finest piano men in Jonathan Rado. And you fall in line behind Sam France's sprawling and reckless lyric. Witness his mastery. Feel them struggle against the walls of their own creations. Follow them there. To the perimeter. To the exit sign. And let your eyes fog up with thoughts like 'For at least this moment I understand how cold blooded and beautiful I am.' Notice that the two young guys aren't there anymore. They're outside looking for another joint to haunt. They're already out of sight.
And now you're on a train. Facing the wrong way so the trees are passing in front of you. And you're looking forward but everything is getting further away. These nowhere towns somehow sound good. Like the city is heavy, but out here we float a little bit. America is too
big of a boat to sink. Don't sink baby. Hang.
i picked this vinyl up in rough trade Nottingham for £12 (as well as the 2 demos vinyl) and I'm genuinely starstruck because i constantly forget how insanely good this album is, its nothing short of a masterpiece queencabbage