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Album Review: Dealer by Foxing

Foxing release their highly anticipated sophomore album Dealer on 30th October via Triple Crown Records. The writing process was shrouded in that difficult second album trap, their acclaimed 2013 debut Albatross set out the bands fragile combination of inventive post rock and big emotion, livening up to that was going to be some feat.

The band decamped to a remote cabin in Vermont to write the songs that were to become Dealer, yet doubts within the band raised their heads and by the time they entered the studio they had a set of reworked and different songs. What you have now is a set of beautifully fragile and emotional songs that far surpass Albatross and may just be best thing you hear this year.

It’s important to know who Foxing are before listening to Dealer. Set your expectations and you’ll be stunned by the results. Mix the imaginative and complexities of a Sigur Ros and Explosions In The Sky post rock with progressive rhythms and hugely emotional lyrics and you’ll be on the right track. It’s fragile and beautiful throughout. “We’re a band, and someday we won’t be a band,” vocalist Conor Murphy says, reciting Foxing’s unofficial motto. “Dealer felt like it was make or break. If we don’t do something that we can be proud of and other people can be proud of, this is all for nothing and we might as well not be doing it.”

‘Weave’ welcomes you in with a sense that the band have the weight of expectation on their shoulders. There’s a thinly veiled reference to it within the lyrics, yet by the end of the track it is obvious that the band have stepped up their game. The textures interweave, coming together to create something wonderfully beautiful. Lead single ‘The Magdalene’ shows Foxing at their best. The detailed rhythms get you moving while the delicate guitars and occasional trumpet sucker you in and make you fall in love. The music itself is emotional enough, yet Murphy’s vocal add another level that here (and on several other points on Dealer) could reduce you to tears.

The piano led ‘Night Channels’ pushes home the fragile sound, you get the sense the band are within an inch of imploding. The crescendo towards the end of the track is truly astounding. ‘Laundered’ feels like an expansive piece of post rock with jazz influences. Again the rhythm section comes to fore, giving the track drive and structure. Lyrically, the band keep it vague enough to make it relatable to all, yet it still resonates that this is a deeply personal album with the darkest parts of life being explored.  ‘Indica’ is one of the moments within Dealer that impacts upon you so heavily that you almost need to step away. While Murphy’s vocal may provide the initial impact, just wait until the combination of delicate guitar work and trumpets around the half way mark and amount of emotion is astounding.

‘Winding Cloth’ and ‘Redwoods’ are two of the strongest tracks on Dealer for two very different reasons. With the former being instrumental, Foxing showcase just how good they are musically, it’s up there with some the finest post rock dynamics ever committed to record. Sonically it packs a serious punch and would fit perfectly within an atmospheric film score. The latter deals with the break down in a relationship and trying to hold it together, combine Murphy’s vocal with the landscapes created by the rest of the band and you have a track that oozes heartbreak. As the track swells, it hits you with such power and emotion that you realise that Foxing could just have made one of the best albums you’ve heard.

There’s a condensed blizzard feel to both ‘Glass Coughs’ and ‘Eiffel’. A storm of passion and swirling post rock is served up with the sense that the band has created such a complex sound and level of emotion that they could break at anytime. As the crescendo to ‘Eiffel’ hits with a cathartic explosion of guitars and stretched vocals, you’re witnessing a band that have pushed themselves to the max. ‘Coda’ acts a respite before the fragile apology found in ‘Three On A Match’, which finds Murphy repetitively pleading, “I’m sorry.”

Foxing have nothing to be sorry for. In Dealer they have surpassed all expectations and created an album that hits you so hard that you can’t help but be astounded. You’ll fall in love on the first listen, discover something new on the second and be equally flummoxed by how good it is by the tenth listen. Welcome to your new favourite band.

AD Rating 10/10

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2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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