Foxygen Seeing Other People
Published May 02, 2019Foxygen never rest on their laurels. On Seeing Other People, they explore dance and disco from their unique perspective. Foxygen do not treat these genres as a stultified image to nostalgically imitate; instead, they take an appreciative approach that brings these genres into the present. This results in a modern album that sounds like a development of disco rather than a copy or parody.
The lyrics are part of what keep it firmly in present day. There is self-referentiality in songs like "Work," which speaks about how the singer has "to go to work on this song," and on "Flag at Half-Mast," where a girl the singer met "says I don't listen to Foxygen." This hits its peak at "The Conclusion," a closing track about album closers.
Seeing Other People has an autobiographical tone to it; songs like "Livin' A Lie" provide a satisfying narrative of a successful but tired musician. The title track takes a steady bass line and a crooning approach to polyamory —as an emotional rather than purely sexual phenomenon.
One of the only things missing from the album is flow between tracks. Songs hit a satisfying ending, but then fade out and move to a track that doesn't connect to what the listener just heard. This is very effective on the transition to "The Thing Is," which is a lively, distorted, big band number, but then the album returns to disco without a clear bridge.
Still, the album keeps you hooked throughout with its intriguing lyrics, bass grooves, and Sam France's soulful-yet-ironic vocals. Seeing Other People is eclectic in a good way. (Jagjaguwar/Outside)