Archives

…And Star Power

...And Star Power

Release date: October 14, 2014
Producer: FoxygenLabel: Jagjaguwar
Formats: 2xLP, 2xCD, 2xCassette, Digital

  1. Star Power Airlines
  2. How Can You Really
  3. Coulda Been My Love
  4. Cosmic Vibrations
  5. You & I
  6. Star Power I: Overture
  7. Star Power II: Star Power Nite
  8. Star Power III: What Are We Good For
  9. Star Power IV: Ooh Ooh
  10. I Don’t Have Anything/The Gate
  11. Mattress Warehouse
  12. 666
  13. Flowers
  14. Wally’s Farm
  15. Cannibal Holocaust
  16. Hot Summer
  17. Cold Winter/Freedom
  18. Can’t Contextualize My Mind
  19. Brooklyn Police Station
  20. The Game
  21. Freedom II
  22. Talk
  23. Everyone Needs Love
  24. Hang

Roundup of Cosmic Vibration Reviews

Quite a few short commentaries have been written on Cosmic Vibrations now that the official audio has been released. Below is a sampling:

Sterogum:

Next month, Californian psych-rock sprites Foxygen return with their new album …And Star Power. First single “How Can You Really” didn’t exactly announce any grand departures from the band’s old sound, and neither did any of the new songs that the band has been playing live lately. But “Cosmic Vibrations,” the band’s new single, suggests that we could be looking at an MGMT-style deep-dive into absolute weirdness. “Cosmic Vibrations” switches back and forth between deep-psych bugouts and goony noise-splashes. The band debuted the song on Tim Heidecker’s Twitter, which further implies that we’ve got a weird-for-the-sake-of-being-weird situation on our hands here.

Consequence of Sound:

Whereas Foxygen basked in the folk pop warmth of sunny lead single “How Can You Really”, their latest sounds as though it was born in some musty netherworld. The track starts with ear-shattering noise before morphing into an eerie and ambling lo-fi number — one that seems to come off as more “spooky incantation to raise the dead” than mere “psychedelic rocker.” If Sam France’s devilish bellow doesn’t successfully induce chills, then the crafty organs surely will. Listen in below.

Live 105:

If the upbeat ‘How Can You Really‘ was the  proverbial A-side to Foxygen’s stream of singles for the new album …And Star Power, then newest single “Cosmic Vibrations” is the otherworldly B-side, showing a novel psychedelic consciousness from the duo.

‘Cosmic Vibrations’ is spacey. Where ‘How Can You Really’ milked the melodic stickiness that propelled them to the level of success responsible for nabbing them a date at the Fillmore in October, ‘Vibrations’ veers them into the void. It’s wholly weird and features some unnerving psyche sounds, but that much can probably be gauged from the track’s title.

Regardless, the new single suggests the new album will show some serious depth into classic rock tropes.

Baeble Music:

The tune is wholesome and retro, but also somehow sick and satisfying. The song alternates between the eerie, deep, milky vocals of Jonathan Rado [SIC], and the thin, quavering, pubescent falsetto of Sam France. The ultimate effect is a string of laid-back, complacent ramblings that are effortlessly intoxicating and captivating.

France’s foreboding and hazy lyrics warn; “If you want me you can have me/You can have me but I’m all used up.” This refrain reminds me of an anecdote a friend recently relayed about visiting a Seven-Eleven in the midwest, at which his mother asked the cashier if the gas-station carried baguette. “We’ve got what we’ve got,” replied the woman behind the counter, unapologetically. The vibe of “Cosmic Vibrations” is kind of like that. Foxygen is putting all they’ve got to offer out there; and even though it doesn’t seem like they’re trying all that hard, they’ve simply got what they’ve got. And, like with wonder-bread instead of baguette, chances are you’ll enjoy if you just go with it.

Recommended Listen:

Interpersonal drama from the past notwithstanding, Foxygen have endured their fair share of critical grief for sounding too dubiously like ‘60s psych-pop and folk hacks, and, well, playing up the bohemian image isn’t going to do them too many favors in 2014 either if their intention isn’t to lead listeners into believing they’re merely playing dress up. Jonathan Rado and Sam France will return next month in an attempt to prove all kinds of skeptics wrong with their new album …And Star Power, and it has already managed to surprise these ears with a glamorous makeover stitched with breezy pop with its first single “How Can You Really.” Now we have another entirely different kind of assessment to make with latest preview “Cosmic Vibrations,” however, and it finds Foxygen returning to their divisive ways for stressing out sonic oddities for the sake of art, being long-winded and – according to the message board commentariat – being heavily reductive of a certain Bob Dylan classic. Given that …And Star Power is a double LP that features 24 tracks which should grant them ample room to play around with past influences while exploring their own sound in the present, I’m willing to give up the opportunity of being a cynic here and soak in the weirdness of their story until the full tapestry weaves its way out.

Exclaim.ca:

Psychedelic California popsters Foxygen return with …And Star Power later this fall, but to add to the anticipation, they’ve unveiled a new cut called “Cosmic Vibrations.”

It’s a wandering, trippy affair that bounces between the “sha-la-la’s” of 1960s girl groups and totally eerie, gloom-filled vocals. The forthcoming 24-song mega-album has been previously described as “psych-ward folk” and “cartoon fantasia” — with this cut exemplifying what we would imagine those are supposed to sound like.

UPDATE — A few more reviews that have come in over the past 24 hours:

Under The Gun:

Now, we’ve got “Cosmic Vibrations,” which takes on a whole different persona, but still reaching towards the late ’70s, early ’80s for influences. It carries an almost Pink Floyd vibe; not as anthemic, but still has the huge goal of carrying that classic rock sound, without feeling forced or played out.

Alt Citizen:

Los Angles songwriting duo Foxygen has returned with a track off their upcoming album, …And Star Power, that is wild, strange, and echoes the ghost of rock n’ roll’s past. A song comprised of separate movements, the track explodes into a wall of noise before slipping into a lulling groove of psychedelic organs and doped out vocals — ending with a kick into a hard-driving chant that makes you want to sweat and dance and try whatever they’re having. It’s a psychedelic trip in itself, retro yet simultaneously unique, and it left me eager to hear more.

Austin Town Hall:

I love to love and hate Foxygen.  Their first LP was remarkable, so remarkable that when they brought their live debacle of a show to Austin that I had to force myself to walk out (not just go to the bar; I straight up walked out). All that nonsense aside, I’m still quite fascinated with their musicianship.  Just listen to this song; it opens with a carnival-esque freak show before folding into this really simple piece of melodic neo-folk.  There’s two different vocalists, which shouldn’t surprise since the group is taking 9 people on the road as their band (please rehearse!).

 

Studio Version of Cosmic Vibrations Released

Tim Heidecker (of all people) broke the news this morning that the studio version of Cosmic Vibrations has been released — listen to it below:

Fun to hear how this one has evolved over the past year+, as it’s had the most varied history of any of the songs from their live set that are going to be on the new album. The oldest version was created in a 1-hour studio session in the fall of 2012:

That was followed by my favorite rendition, played at the 3voor12 session in December of 2012 (starts at the 7:09 mark):

And in June of 2013, they played an acoustic version at the tail end of an interview Studio 360:

Foxygen official announce new album, release date, cover art, track list

...And Star PowerIt’s official: Foxygen’s next album will be titled “…And Star Power” and will be released on October 14. The 24-track double album will run 82 minutes, and will include several songs that have shown up in their live sets: How Can You Really, Coulda Been My Love, Cosmic Vibrations, You & I, 666, Cannibal Holocaust, and Brooklyn Police Station (and probably a few more that haven’t been matched up to names yet).

01 Star Power Airlines
02 How Can You Really
03 Coulda Been My Love
04 Cosmic Vibrations
05 You & I
06 Star Power I: Overture
07 Star Power II: Star Power Nite
08 Star Power III: What Are We Good For
09 Star Power IV: Ooh Ooh
10 I Don’t Have Anything/The Gate
11. Mattress Warehouse
12 666
13 Flowers
14 Wally’s Farm
15 Cannibal Holocaust
16 Hot Summer
17 Cold Winter/Freedom
18 Can’t Contextualize My Mind
19 Brooklyn Police Station
20 The Game
21 Freedom II
22 Talk
23 Everyone Needs Love
24 Hang

More content from the Jagjaguwar release:

From the band –
Foxygen have joined Star Power. It is a punk band, and you can be in it, too. Star Power is the radio station that you can hear only if you believe. A gaggle of guest stars. Roman-numeraled musical suites. Vocals recorded on a shoddy tape machine at The Beverly Hills Hotel and Chateau Marmont. A svelte 82-minute run time of psych-ward folk, cartoon fantasia, soft-rock indulgences, D&D doomrock and paranoid bathroom rompers. A cinematic auditory adventure for speedy freaks, skull krunchers, abductees and misfits. We’re all stars of the scene.

Ladies & Gentleman, Foxygen is back with their third release …And Star Power, out Oct. 14th (13th in Europe) via Jagjaguwar. The followup to We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic is a 24-song epic journey that picks up right where members Sam France and Jonathan Rado left off. Catch the video for the debut single “How Can You Really“, starring France as he harnesses the power of rock-gods before him. Bonus points for those who spot the cameos from members of Gardens & Villa and Dub Thompson, the latter supporting Foxygen on their upcoming North American tour. Directed by Grant Singer, watch the video above or on Youtube / Vevo.

 

Foxygen live at the Larimer Lounge in Denver

The Flat Response released a high-quality recording of Foxygen’s March 18 show at the Larimer Lounge in Denver, Colorado. You can download the full concert here or any of the individual tracks using the links below.

Here’s the setlist.

1. intro
2. Bowling Trophies
3. Make It Known
4. Cosmic Vibrations
5. Shuggie
6. On Blue Mountain
7. In the Darkness
8. We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic
9. San Francisco

Source:  [Neumann SKM140’s (AK40/KM100) > Lunatec V3 > Oade Mod Edirol R44 @ 24/48 > SDHC > Adobe Audition CS6 > Mixdown > Resample to 16/44.1 > CDWave
Taped by:  Lance Stack

Cosmic Vibrations from the Fred Perry Artist Lounge session at CMJ

The closest thing to a studio version of Cosmic Vibrations came together last October during CMJ, when Foxygen recorded two tracks (“In The Darkness” being the other) at what sounded like an entertaining recording session (eight different bands recording in sequential 1-hour blocks). MP3 versions can be downloaded with an email signup at the link above:

I do prefer the organ solo in the breakdown at the end, like in the 3voor12 session. But in terms of sound quality and vocals, this is the best version yet.