Foxing venture into the poppier side of life with Draw Down The Moon, a record that grooves out unapologetically while keeping intact their renowned emotional glamour.
Release date: August 6, 2021 | Grand Paradise / Hopeless Records, Inc. | Official Website | Facebook | Bandcamp
Admittedly, that is the one thing I’ve known about Foxing (that is until this review, of course): a song that I had heard one or two times shortly after it made waves on the internet upon its release and kind of… shoved it to the side since then. I did so not out of disinterest, mind you – I’m just a forgetful fuck sometimes. After stumbling upon the song on my Spotify a couple of weeks ago, I gave it a second chance and, surprise surprise, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Further checking out the band’s Spotify profile after that second listen, I found myself with newly released singles for their fourth full-length, Draw Down The Moon (sweet!) and, you guessed it, I was hooked!
In hindsight – and having taken in the album after a couple of listens – it upsets me a bit not having followed the rest of the band’s discography as closely as I have now. In comparison to “The Medic”, Draw Down the Moon presents itself as a welcoming evolution for Foxing, introducing a new sound for them that is fun and vivid while retaining the emotional tenacity that has carried the band since their inception.
Draw Down The Moon begins and ends with glimmering arrangements unfolding a valley of soundscapes that is immediately inviting. Traces of art pop, electronic rock, indie folk, and synth pop can be found frolicking around the band’s unbothered emo grounds, creating a synergy that, while not being trailblazing in execution, works like a charm. “737” opens the album with a mesmerizing acoustic guitar passage that slowly crescendos into a bone-chilling rocker of a climax. Using 737 planes and the Curiosity rover to describe loneliness is certainly cheesy, but in a cute, quirky fashion akin to the whimsical cynicism Weezer or Hot Chip usually implement in their songs. “737” certainly sets a good pace and acts as a great opening for the rest of the record.
Hooks and choruses are the order of the day here, and they will for sure live rent-free in your head without a problem. “Where The Lightning Strikes Twice” and “If I Believed In Love” are both highlights in that regard: anthemic in their delivery but with a driving rhythm section that elevates the song to a truly satisfying outcome. Some of them, however, do not land as successfully, particularly on songs like “Bialystok” with its rather awkward use of vocal effects, or the high-pitched and the slightly irksome ‘cry cry cry’ in the chorus of “Cold Blooded” (do not sleep on this song, however – the rest of the vocal performance is great and the transition to the outro is absolutely stellar!). Regardless of these nitpicks of mine, each song is pretty smooth sailing on a broader listen. There are no single moments where the album feels forced or stale, presenting itself in a manner that might seem safe at first glance, but is nonetheless entertaining.
I cannot end this review without mentioning “Speak With The Dead”. This was the song that made my ears perk up and got me fully diggin’ into the record. Even after repeated listens, the song still towers over the rest of the tracklist with such grace. “Speak With The Dead” has everything you want for an album closer: a fantastic song structure with its parts seamlessly flowing against each other, a larger-than-life performance, and an emotionally gripping conclusion to an otherwise tuneful album. Make no mistake – there is rawness beneath the seemingly festive demeanor of Draw Down The Moon, and “Speak With The Dead” brings it all together with a stirring bang. The percussions give the chorus a ritualistic edge, as if reaching out to listeners around the world to pay homage to lost loved ones as a tight-knit community. Also, that transition to the latter half of the song? Tasteful, simply tasteful.
I’m aware that taking your music to a more accessible direction can be quite the risk, but honestly? This is not something that Foxing should be worried about. While there are moments where it might feel too run-of-the-mill or where the band wear their influences on their sleeves a bit too close, Draw Down The Moon is a welcoming change of scenery for Foxing. The album ultimately proves their sense of adaptability when it comes to songwriting, resulting in music that is mature but also knows how to have fun. Onwards, Foxing – and my most sincere apologies for having referred you as ‘that band with that one song’ all this time.