The genre of indie is not as straightforward as it once was. It now transcends the box it was easily packed up in to in years gone by, with bands taking influence from everywhere— punk, pop, R&B… you name it. Foxygen are yet another group who refuse to be painted with just one brush, staging a progressive and versatile experience for their fans with both their recorded music and their unforgettable live shows. In support of their latest LP, Hang, the Californian duo headlined the stage at London’s KOKO where we went to check out the madness.
As expected, most of the setlist was drawn from the new record. Tracks such as ‘Follow The Leader’ and ‘Oh Lankershim’ have been released in music video form over the last couple of months and, as a result, they gauged the biggest reaction from the diverse crowd. A few older gems made an appearance too, however. ‘How Can You Really’ featured on Foxygen’s third album, …And Star Power, a concept album revolving around a fictional band by the name of Star Power. Despite this concept not exactly fitting with Foxygen’s current live set up, the song felt right at home among newer material. The duo have a knack for being adaptable, which explains why no two of their songs sound the same. They are experimental to the nth degree and it truly opens them up to a whole world of audiences.
Lead singer Sam France was all about the exaggerated movements, clearly setting out to put on an incredible show for the audience before him. He put his all in to every track, crooning away at 150% to make sure that all eyes were on him. We live in the golden age of mobile phones, yet the sea of phone screens was not nearly as high as it would be for any other band playing at KOKO— no, Foxygen certainly have a magic about them that has their crowd’s attention fully captured and willing to live in the moment rather than filming it all for later.
As the show came to a close with older track ‘No Destruction’, the thing that really stuck out was the duo’s sheer dedication. They’ve been a band for over ten years now and while they were supposedly ‘hotly tipped’ a few years back, they are still only really known to the fortunate few. Regardless of relative fame or not, Foxygen’s motives seem to lie beyond that. They will endeavour to put on a fantastic show, whether its playing to 5,000 people or 50.