Foxing – Dealer

Released 10/30/15

4/7

That’s a strange root to grow from, but Foxing seems to have found its stride by evolving into something completely different. There’s not a lot of folk in Dealer, the post-emo band’s sophomore effort. Instead, these mustachioed Saint Louiacs have painted a soundscape that dropped alongside the leaves of the season. It’s the prime soundtrack for a walk through a colored forest, or for staring out a rainy window, or for stargazing. Yeah. This album was made for a gaze.

The 11-song soundscape beckons the listener into a trancelike state. “Weave,” the opening track, picks up as though it was already looping in existence and greets the listener with a “thank you for joining us” type of feeling. Ambient sounds and a heavy dose of reverb course through every track, but the band still manages to keep an impressively clean sound. Each instrument joins in only when it’s absolutely necessary to the cohesion of the album. Spells of a single lead guitar riff, paired with lead singer Conor Murphy’s reserved passion, culminate in a full polyphonic climax complete with horns, synths, and booming drums.

Here’s the full track list:

  1. Weave
  2. The Magdalene
  3. Night Channels
  4. Laundered
  5. Indica
  6. Winding Cloth
  7. Redwoods
  8. Glass Coughs
  9. Eiffel
  10. Coda
  11. Three on a Match

Foxing’s mastery of personal sound makes up for the simplicity of Dealer’s melodies. You don’t need ultra-complexity in composition when you can create such a clear vision through tone color. This vision is complete with almost-indistinguishable sounds, like screeching strings in the middle of “Winding Cloth” that would make Alfred Hitchcock blush. “Coda,” an instrumental piece like “Winding Cloth”, tees up “Three on a Match” with precision and speaks to the many flawless transitions of this album.

If there is one negative to creating a soundscape, it comes in its redundancy. Whereas “The Magdalene” and “Night Channels” stand out as the gems of the album, the final six tracks are pretty forgettable. They complete the image with the same lead guitar/lead singer tag-teamed melody as their predecessors but fail to establish an identity of their own.

Though some may find Foxing’s unique approach mundane, the album is a perfect atmospheric image for the changing seasons. Go see what I’m talking about, and take a listen to:

“Night Channels”

“The Magdalene”