I am seriously diggin’ the whole vibe on this one from Foxygen. And I think that’s what these guys, Sam France and Jonathan Rado, are all about; creating a comforting atmosphere in which you can turn on, tune in, and drop out. They’re sneaky though; once you get nice and situated in their sound one of them will toss off a little bit of casual brilliance. But those moments aren’t not deployed to make your head snap as much as they’re meant to elicit a casual “Woah…”
One thing’s for sure, these two and their assorted crew of collaborators don’t sound like anybody else out there in the game right now. Instead, they sound a whole lot like folks who were in the game about 40 years ago. I mean really, some of the “Oh yeah”s on Oh Yeah sound like they were ripped from the reel to reel tape of a lost Rolling Stones a-side. But the song isn’t blind hero worship. No, it’s clear these guys have studied every worn groove, hiss, and pop from the 60s and 70s and now they’re able to call upon and deploy them at will with their own signature twists.
This is sauntering in the hot sun music. Picture yourself on a beachside boulevard, an absent-minded daytripper caught up in the beautiful ephemera of the world around you. Maybe you just got paid, maybe you just received a string of promising texts from a certain paramour to be. The point is, you’re strutting around like you own the place and man, you’re owning it. Bummer that it’s still hovering in the 40s outside, right? Unless you live in Los Angeles, where you might be getting ready to head out for a little surf and a little tan. I live in NYC so I assume that’s just what every day is like for everyone out there.
But even if you’re not totally bowled over by the chillness of the whole affair, maybe you can take a little appreciation in the nuance that France and Rado bring to the table in their tracks. Sunny as the proceeding might seem on the surface, there are little wrinkles burned into the track.
How come you got to make a fool of me?
When all I ever said or do is scream
Yea yea yea
You go and try to make a fool of me.”
Before it all has a chance to sink in, a little plinky plink piano part comes in and you find yourself marveling at how much Sam France really, truly does sound like Mick Jagger. It’s ok to get distracted with the surface pleasures on your initial play throughs of Oh Yeah. A track like this rewards repeat listens and it begs you to suss out the deeper stuff while you enjoy its grooves. Everything old really is new again.