REVIEW: Foxing – “The Magdalene”
by Chad Jewett
On 2013’s The Albatross, St. Louis post-everything quintet Foxing presented a brand of subtle, understated bedroom-pop defined by texture and supple rhythms. Songs like “Bloodhound” and “Rory” billowed in like dense, lush clouds, balancing emo’s theatricality with post-rock’s sense of proportion and mystery. But the album’s true highlight was “The Medic”, a simmering three minutes of indie-inflected neo-soul that made the most of its groove-oriented slow boil. The Albatross was a fascinating, stirring step into the spotlight for Foxing, and “The Medic” was its undeniable breakthrough.
“The Magdalene”, our first listen from the quintet’s forthcoming follow-up, The Dealer, is the product of a band fine-tuning a signature sound and trusting their instincts for nuance and atmosphere. The track, narratively haunted by conflicting desires and fears, torn between intimacy and dogma, seems pitched between the Christ-haunted mid-2000s work of Brand New and the guilt-ridden alt-R&B of The Weeknd. Same goes for the aesthetic of “The Magdalene”, all cooing falsettos from singer Conor Murphy (whose voice has become a stunning, flexible instrument) and wiry, fine-lined guitars and an economical yet nimble groove. A mid-song wave of harmonies, arriving like a rolling fog, stands as the track’s key hook, the sort of subtle payoff Radiohead would offer sparingly throughout Amnesiac. “The Magdalene” is practically free-form in that way, even more insistent on showcasing Foxing’s careful internal logic than the already abstract frames of The Albatross. The results are simply gorgeous.