Alex Lebl, Contributing Writer
Foxygen—We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
Release Date: 1/22/2013
Genre: Indie/Psychedelic Rock
Sounds Like: Wampire, Parquet Courts, MGMT
In addition to having some awesome wordplay as its band name, this Brooklyn duo has come out with one of the best albums (with one of the longest album titles) of 2013.
We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic is just so cool. It has a warm feel to it that just makes you want to replay it over and over again. The first song, “Into the Darkness,” is a peaceful song that showcases the duo’s wonderfully harmonious voices and sets the tone for the rest of the album by featuring horns and woodwinds, along with the more typical piano, guitar and drums one would expect from a psych duo.
The other tracks on the album showcase many different styles: “No Destruction” has a really folksy feel, “San Francisco” sounds more like a pop song, and “Shuggie” (my second-favorite track on the record) is pretty darn funky.
The coolest song on the album is certainly “On Blue Mountain,” which not only has some killer lyrics, but also takes the style of a gospel song, with a kind of sing-and-response from both members, that is simply delightful. The song starts off slow, builds up in speed and crescendos with a catchy bassline, then does the whole thing over again. The last two minutes of this song might be my favorite two minutes from any record this year.
The variation of sound and pace in We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic sets it apart from other albums of this genre and makes it a must-listen for this year. There really is not a bad song on the record.
If I may be so bold as to make a prediction, I think this band will get as huge this year as Tame Impala did last year. Foxygen has struck sonic gold with this album and created something that is an essential part of any new album purchase this year. 8/10.