Frankie - Foxing: The Albatross
I’ve done it, I’ve amassed the Holy Trinity of my personal record collection: I now have all three Foxing albums on vinyl! I completed the series this week when I purchased Foxing’s debut album The Albatross from the Instagram account @heres_whats_selling in which the proprietor posts pieces from his own collection that he has phased out. I jumped at the chance as soon as I saw the post and I somehow managed to be the first to ask about it, though he confirmed there were many right behind me. I snagged it with a pressing of Kississippi’s first album as well, but I’ll save that for a later post.
It is no news to anyone how much I love Foxing. The Albatross came out in 2013 and I was immediately drawn to it. I stumbled upon the album on Spotify at some point and I remember telling anyone that would listen “have you heard of Foxing?” because it didn’t make sense to me that they weren’t world famous yet. The Albatross features some of their most heartbreaking songs including “The Medic” and “Rory.” Lead singer Conor Murphy’s voice in “The Medic” cracks and rasps as he thinks back on the things said to him by a lover; “She says "You don't love me you just love sex/ But I can't wait around for something better than this/ Because you're the best that I can do/ And I wish I could leave you." In “Rory” we see Murphy’s character fatefully off to sea after leaving a risky letter for his disenchanted lover, and it’s the chorus’s build into a final screaming rendition that really moves me in this song; “I swear I'm a good man/ So why don't you love me back?” “Rory” is a song that still frequently perform live, as it is a crowd favorite even three albums later, and one I never get tired of screaming along to with fellow fans, and you’ve never seen excitement like a Foxing concert when Murphy pulls out his pocket trumpet for “Rory.”
I think The Albatross will always be my favorite Foxing album, even though the other two are absolutely magnificent albums in their own right. I got to spend so much time with just The Albatross before their second album Dealer came out in 2015, and I only took a brief break from The Albatross when I became temporarily obsessed with Nearer My God when it arrived last year. At last I am home again, with my favorite album ever finally on vinyl tucked safely away with its brothers.
Michael - Soccer Mommy: Clean
Two artists who's music I frequented the most over the past year were Snail Mail and Soccer Mommy. Soccer Mommy hooked me instantly with the line"I don't wanna be your fucking dog / That you drag around / A collar on my neck tied to a pole / Leave me in the freezing cold". I remember thinking "God damn those are lyrics!". Especially to lead in a song with that, there was something that was just so honest about it that you don't get in music much these days. I found Soccer Mommy on one of my many Spotify dives and was just elated as she rose throughout the year last year, with her release Clean among contention at many publications (this one included) for album of the year.
There is just something raw and pure about Sophie Allison's music. The singer-songwriter from Nashville, tells it how it is, and I for one love every minute of it. But her debut is more than just "Your Dog" she has so much genuine heartfelt music stuffed into this album, it's clearly a labor of love.
Soccer Mommy should not be underestimated as an artist on the rise. I think she's one that is going to be around alternative leading the way for a long time. She has a streak to her music that reminds me of The Breeders. I could see her moving her way into the upper echilons of festival lineups. She's already well on her way. If you haven't given her a chance yet, do it ASAP, before you get left behind.