Foxygen – New Single – ‘Shuggie’

17 Dec

“Doing major rhythm shifts in a song is risky, but when pulled off, can produce some brilliant music.”


Foxygen’s ‘Shuggie’ is one of those songs that begin with a resonance that I will call vaguely modern and familiar.

Jonathan Rado and Sam France make up the band (a name that was decided upon when Jonathan and Sam were in the 6th grade according to The Village Voice), and as their Facebook page aptly states, “whoever the fuck else we think is glamorous.”  The word glamorous is appropriate considering the song we are discussing today is the new single ‘Shuggie’ from the band’s upcoming sophomore album, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic.

The Lo-fi rawness of the opening reminds me of the superb music currently being fashioned by Unknown Mortal Orchestra.  This is however, transitory, as Foxygen rapidly turns on the glitter ball and showcases some dazzling respect to Bryan Ferry and a Glam-era David Bowie starting at the 1:20 mark with the chorus, “If you believe in yourself you can free your soul.” 

Doing major rhythm shifts in a song is risky, but when pulled off, can produce some brilliant music. The 1973 Paul McCartney and Wings classic ‘Band on the Run’ is a prime example of this success.  Foxygen’s ‘Shuggie’ is sensational and cabaret, at the same time it is soulful, in its five abrupt tempo changes (total respect to the funk modification thrown in at 2:30).

The final minute of ‘Shuggie’ is a festive affair as the song fades with optimistic clapping not unlike the fading moments of Mott The Hoople’s 1972 Glam rock anthem, ‘All The Young Dudes’.

Ironically, I have tickets to see Foxygen playing with Unknown Mortal Orchestra in February in LA’s famous Echoplex, and I suspect that the venue will be filled with the same cacophony of wondrous reverberations that echo on ‘Shuggie’.

By Trey Turbeville



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