Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Night Channels” by Foxing from their 2015 album, Dealer, on Triple Crown Records.
Foxing hit the pavement after their first album, The Albatross, earning a slow, simmering critical success befitting their equally slow, patient brand of spacious rock. Their style is huge and emotional, recorded in some sort of introspective reverb cave. But something happens to a tour-heavy band that doesn’t achieve gold-glitter success on their first album: in the months of driving around, playing the same songs over and over as the rest of the world slowly lifts their head and realizes that they dig what you’re putting down, you see bands trim some of their artistic fat. Effectively the opposite of a sophomore slump, a band that really had to work for it comes back swinging their second time around – which brings us to Foxing’s 2015 Dealer. There’s a crystalline sheen to the sound, a hi-fi production value that would seem incongruous with the bare, often purely sad lyrical content – a bit cleaner than your average KEXP play – but producer Matt Bayles brought us an album that resembles conventional pop in any way.
A track like “Night Channels” wouldn’t be possible Bayle’s production value. The cavernous, swirling cosmos of quiet sweeps and noise cascades add a three dimensionality to Conor Murphy’s reserved vocal performance – a great example of a vocalist singing to himself rather than to us. The relentless refrain “future love, don’t fall apart” takes us through the last two thirds of a song that narrowly avoids having a classic “verse/chorus” structure and instead meanders through several different moods, a long, hard day’s worth of ideas instead of a few succinct minutes.
You can catch Foxing when they’re in town on April 3 at Chop Suey, and tickets are still available. Look for more dates and more music on their website and Facebook page. For now, check out “Weave”, another song from Dealer: