Frankie - Foxing - Nearer My God (2018)
I have said so much about this album and I still have more to say, it’s seriously that good. Foxing is probably my favorite band currently, and their third album is a literal masterpiece. In my featured album review back in August, I believe I used phrases like “glittery” and “dizzying death disco” to describe it. Titled Nearer My God I hope this album is not the last from this band as its namesake forebodes. For those who might not know, “Nearer My God To Thee” has quite a dark history; it is rumored to have been the song the band played on the deck of the Titanic while the passengers were desperately trying to escape (we’ve all seen that movie right?), and more infamous and eerie than that, CNN founder Ted Turner had a video recording of the hymn played by a full band in 1980 tucked away in the archives to be later dug up by an intern. The recording was titled “TURNER DOOMSDAY VIDEO” and it was Turner’s intention that it be the last thing millions of viewers would watch as the world comes to an end (in that context it’s super creepy, check it out). A distorted version of that exact recording makes an appearance at the end of “Gameshark” just before the title track plays, establishing this album, in my opinion, as the soundtrack to the end of the world.
I firmly believe Conor Murphy is a genius. Lyrically, this is the best album from Foxing yet. Take “Gameshark” for instance, full of Murphy’s signature falsetto, nonchalantly using the word “dizygotic” to describe an antichrist figure leading the protagonist into danger and sin. I’ve always been a huge fan of Foxing lyrics (I don’t have any tattooed yet… emphasis on “yet”) but the title track “Nearer My God” has my favorite string of lyrics yet. My windshield has heard me countless times try to get the final verse of “I've got it all/ I feel the love in suspension/ And nearer my God/ At hallowed ground, holding hands/ Ashing cigarettes on gravestones/ Pin photographs on cork boards/ Unfollowing my dead friends/ Someone's gonna love me” out in one breath. It leaves you breathless, which matches the tone of the lyrics well. Something truly amazing is that Foxing is so well in touch with their fan base that they recorded both audio and videos of “Nearer My God” in English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. The other two songs graced with music videos from this album were “Slapstick” and “Heartbeats” both directed by ex-Foxing bassist Josh Coll. The videos are a series featuring a symbiotic relationship between The Botanist (Murphy) and The Plant carried out chamber-drama style in some sort of bunker which they eventually escape at the end of “Slapstick” and pick back up on a beach in “Heartbeats” with some impressive and eclectic dance moves on Murphy’s part. This album also features a lot of impressive instrumentation as well, combining guitar, thumping bass and drums with synths, brass, and just wait until you here the bagpipes!
I saw Foxing just before this album was released and got to hear a few of these songs live, and of course they didn’t disappoint. I picked up my pressing of Nearer My God at Magnolia Thunderpussy in Columbus. It’s pressed on amber/gold vinyl. I highly recommend this album; I think there is a song on here for everyone!
Michael - Morgan Saint - 17 Hero (2017)
I can't begin to tell you how hyped Morgan Saint's music get's me! Her alt-pop sound and fantastic vocals genuinely pop off every track she records. The singer, songwriter, and musician has her EP 17 Hero and her brand new album Alien to her name. Both are absolutely essential alt listening. However, today I am looking at her first EP 17 Hero.
Perhaps the best known song from 17 Hero is "Just Friends", as it has over 4,000,000 plays on Spotify, Morgan Saint's most popular track on the streaming service. It also features her track "YOU" which is her second most popular song on Spotify with over 3,000,000 listens. Regardless of their popularity, both songs are destined to be alt classics in their own right. They have that perfect combination of Saint's vocals, great lyrics, and awesome beats/melodies.
What also makes Morgan Saint a great artist is the amount of time she puts into engaging with her fans, especially on social media. She always seeks fan input, answers their questions, and is just generally approachable. It's cool to see a rising alt star that is so down to earth. This EP is one that I play quite frequently at home and was excited to highlight for you all. If you haven't gotten a chance to check out Morgan Saint, go do it now!