Foxwarren - Foxwarren - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Foxwarren - Foxwarren

by Nathan Fidler Rating:8 Release Date:2018-11-30
Foxwarren - Foxwarren
Foxwarren - Foxwarren

Usually, the path for a musician is to gain success with a band, then cast off the other members to take the spotlight for themselves. Andy Shauf is putting that in reverse; having shown himself a capable musician, he’s now bringing his hometown band into the fold. Foxwarren, named after the farmhouse of the Kissick brothers in the band, release an album which began life ten years ago.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the sound Shauf has been cultivating is a big part of this record, it’s probably owed a lot to this band. While The Party and The Bearer of Bad News, were character driven, Foxwarren’s self-titled debut has more in common with his Darker Days album.

Themes of loneliness, melancholy and desire are delivered with quiet, gracefully sweet melodies, but still include Shauf’s Canadian vowels. What’s different is that there are clearly other band members expressing themselves. Avery Kissick, on drums, in particular shows off different textures when songs allow. On ‘I’ll Be Alright’ it sounds like he’s playing on empty ice cream tubs, but it lends itself perfectly to the acoustic strums and almost-out-of-tune piano.

Elsewhere, ‘Everything Apart’ has him skittering and driving the song forward, making great use of his hi-hat. That’s before a guttural organ sounds and Shauf’s chorus echoes itself to sound synthesized. It all adds up to a stylish, alternative take on 70s FM rock, as well as something that Shauf hasn’t had until now - a proper band.

‘To Be’ bears most of Shauf’s solo hallmarks, with the completing word of the track’s title being “alone”. And while the piano and carefully considered percussion hark back to his chamber style, the hurting licks on the electric guitars are definitely something new we gain from this mixture.

It’s easy to pick comparative songs, however, and that’s probably the only downside to this album. ‘Lost In A Dream’ sounds like a woozier version of ‘Covered In Dust’ or ‘Drink My Rivers’ from The Bearer of Bad News, while ‘In Another Life’ shares the similarities with The Party’s ‘Begin Again’.

With his previous two albums being so bloody good, it was hard to know how long it would take him to come back to it all, but in his long-time bandmates of Foxwarren, he’s found a slightly new dimension to share with us.  

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