Rolling Stones, the Velvet Underground, the Kinks — these names evoke a varied number of musical memories, and each of these band’s own respective histories are so diverse that those memories and nearly-forgotten emotions must be different for each person. Which makes stating these artists as clear influences on the album at #16 all the more strange. How does a band combine the sounds of them all in a solid, cohesive, perfectly rock & roll album? Foxygen and their 2013 album We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peach & Magic are here to show you.
Foxygen has been around in one form or another since 2005. They languished in the California indie rock scene for many years before catching the ear of producer Richard Swift (who just happens to have produced one of my favorites from 2012: Damien Jurado’s Maraqopa, which came in at #5 on The Calendar last year.
I’m not familiar with Foxygen’s pre-Swift recordings, so I can’t speak to how much of an influence he’s had on the band. But what I do know is there’s now two stellar Richard Swift-produced albums, and I’m anxious to hear what he does next. But before we get to that, you should give Foxygen a listen. In addition to the influences I mentioned above, you can hear other influences as well (like Belle & Sebastian in the above video for “San Francisco”). The album definitely harkens back to an earlier time, and depending on which passage you’re listening to currently, that time could vary by about 50 years. Something tells me the album will last for a similar length of time.
17. Lanters by Son Lux
18. Howlin’ by Jagwar Ma
19. Impersonator by Majical Cloudz
20. Dream Cave by Cloud Control
21. Mole City by Quasi
22. Phantogram by Phantogram
23. Julia With Blue Jeans On by Moonface
24. Uncanney Valley by The Dismemberment Plan
25. Event II by Deltron 3030
26. Wise Up Ghost by Elvis Costello and The Roots
27. Us Alone by Hayden
28. Pure Heroine by Lorde
29. Shaking the Habitual by The Knife
30. False Idols by Tricky
31. Let’s Be Still by The Head and the Heart