Shuggie - Foxygen

from the album We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic (2013)

Over the past few days, I have listened to the song Shuggie by Foxygen several dozen times.  I dig this tune and just can't stop playing it.  My lady friend even dropped in with a "What is that song you keep playing?" inquiry.

I deeply respect musicians who have a command of tone.  With Foxygen, it is a group with command of vibe.  This band has a fascinating ability to perfectly capture a vibe and then pivot to another and another, staying locked together as a unit the entire way.  Bands with this ability are far and too few between.  This only comes with after long hours of playing as a unit.

Foxygen matches its mastery of vibe with superior songwriting capabilities.  The chord structures, the arrangements, and the lyrics intertwine to create a music that lures you inside and then holds you with an intriguing blend of nuance and texture.

Another thing I dig about this group is their honesty.  When asked by an interviewer what it was like playing at the famous Whiskey-A-Go-Go in Los Angeles, singer Sam France responded: "The Whiskey sucks ... After you finish, they throw your gear on the street.  They charge you a hundred dollars, and make you sell a bunch of tickets."  Tell it like it is.

Shruggie grabs me with its opening synthesizer introduction followed by the captivating lead vocal.  Singer Sam France employs a Marlene Dietrich meets Jonathan Richman style to the first verses that I simply dig.  The song then hits its first pivot, a descending vocal and melody line over a strengthening beat reminding you of a movie scene where the actor has arms and legs flailing in from of a spinning black-and-white funnel as they travel back in time.

This is followed a few bars later by the second pivot to a early '70's Godspell meets Hair vibe that includes the lyric "Aah if you believe in yourself, you can free your soul".  Nice stuff.  Then there are other pivots, including a short blast of funk and a "Da-Da Da-Di Da-Da" sing-along line.

Hard to believe that all this great sound can fit cohesively in a 3 minute 22 second song.  Great stuff.

Click Here to watch the music video.