Foxygen’s fifth LP, Hang, feels less like an album and more like a mini-musical. In just 32 minutes, the postmodern rock duo—singer Sam France and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Rado—lead a 40-piece orchestra featuring the Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd through E Street Band boogie, Bolan-esque power pop, ragtime schmaltz, and everything in between. " /> FOXYGEN: HANG | L.A. RECORD

FOXYGEN: HANG

April 6th, 2017 | Album reviews



FOXYGEN
Hang
Jagjaguwar

Foxygen’s fifth LP, Hang, feels less like an album and more like a mini-musical. In just 32 minutes, the postmodern rock duo—singer Sam France and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Rado—lead a 40-piece orchestra featuring the Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd through E Street Band boogie, Bolan-esque power pop, ragtime schmaltz, and everything in between. Its lyrics, written and sung completely—background vocals and all—by France, detail the desperate sorta-has-beens of Los Angeles nightlife. As its creators are a couple of wunderkinds two albums past their breakthrough, Hang may come off as self-deprecating, but that seems to be the point here. Single “America” caps its prog-rock bombast with a fourth-wall break: a film worker tells France that “you walked in on set but you only play yourself—you’re Hollywood!” And the “On Lankershim”’s barstool argument of “You spent your money getting high!”/ ”Well I know I can make it back, ‘cuz I’m only 25!” feels uncomfortably close to home. (Via Wikipedia, Rado and France are 26.) But if you need proof that they’re still smiling and high-fiving like the Foxygen of yesteryear, check out the record’s tongue-in-cheek Bandcamp description, which offers a surreal, heroic portrait of the artists as “West Coast Vampires,” and their newest document as a “splayed Galaxy of polar geniuses.” (All capitalization intended—it’s a real doozy, highly recommended.) Even the self-proclaimed “21st century ambassadors of peace and magic” aren’t immune to L.A.’s pitfalls, but their masterful articulation of its ups and downs might be their way out.

—Zach Bilson