Album Review: Foxygen—“Hang”

By Tyson Moll, Feature Photo via Cara Robbins/Pitch Perfect PR

Foxygen want you to believe that their fourth album Hang is a “cosmic California death game of highway chicken”; a limbo between life and death.

Hang is taking a rather maximalist approach. In this, it departs from the psychedelic-folk of previous albums, such as 2013’s acclaimed We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic: a markedly Bob Dylan / Rolling Stones jig that bursts with flavour (seemingly dried up on 2014’s …and Star Power) and caters towards a casual aesthetic. On Hang, the duo of Sam France and Jonathan Rado pull in the studio orchestra for a performance you could mistake for a casino concert set: rolling with a high stakes enthusiasm but really acting as a delirious anesthetic to make you numb to the pull of the slot lever. Roll the dice, you only have another sixty years!

“America” stands out for it’s gospel patriotism mixed with hammering piano hits and swing jazz. “Avalon” has a naïve blissfulness that exaggerates Hang’s carefree nature. “On Lankershim” drops the Mystery Tour-esque and play to more of their usual melodies for a change of pace.

Time is short, love is fleeting. The album clocks in at a mere 32 minutes; where many contemporaries push for the 60-minute margin, Hang strips back. It’s an episode; a momentary lapse into a daydream. Staring out that window watching the clouds pass by, thinking about when you used to horse around ‘til the school bell rang.

Foxygen’s the breeze that passes through the sky hatch of your four-door automobile. It comes, whips by with a euphoric energy, and then it’s gone. Cheeks still blush as the heat slips away. A kiss goodbye. It wants to be the northern Ontario trip to the cottage but regrettably comes closer to a Don Valley parkway commute. The thrill of the ephemeral moment.

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