Foxygen and Star Power is the Los Angeles songwriting duo of 24-year-olds Sam France and Jonathan Rado. In May 2011, France and Rado nervously handed off a CD-R of this homemade mini-opus Take the Kids Off Broadway (Jagjaguwar, 2012) to producer and visionary Richard Swift after his performance in a Lower East Side club. The duo, who had just mixed and burned the disc that very night, had been devotees of Swift’s outsider-pop oeuvre since high school, when they first began recording their own pubescent forays into oddball rock n’ roll (At least a dozen records were finished before they graduated high school).
Foxygen left the venue that night unsure whether Swift would truly listen or sling the disc into a dumpster on his way out. You’re reading this right now because Swift did listen. In fact, he fucking flipped for Foxygen’s bugged out, esoteric majesty and called upon them immediately to say as much. Eight months later, Foxygen was holed up for a week-long recording session at Swift’s neo-legendary National Freedom studio, creating what became their breakthrough, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic (Jagjaguwar, 2013), a precocious and cocksure joyride across California psychedelia.
2013 saw the mercurial success of 21st Century, and with it, heightened demands for tour planning, added press days, demands on resources, the sacrifice of personal relationships, and the indefinite delay of recording plans. The quick-fire success made for an altogether turbulent 2013 for the band. Foxygen’s always captivating live performances shifted from eruptive to sometimes frightening — and then, just put on ice altogether. But at the close of 2013, France and Rado found secret sanctuary in their new studio, Dream Star, and holing up in some of LA’s most famous hotels for more recording. Writing music together is what their friendship has always thrived upon. At Dream Star in the northernmost passage of LA’s valley, they reformed as a punk band called Star Power. And the result, the svelte, 82-minute …And Star Power, is a morphing, splice-and-paste journey through soft rock indulgences, psych-ward folk, cartoon fantasia, D&D doomrock, and paranoid bathroom rompers. Foxygen, now expanded into a 9-piece touring machine as Star Power, calls the album “a cinematic, auditory adventure for the speedy freaks, skull krunchers, abductees, and misfits…the radio station you can only hear if you believe.”
Videos & Press
[Under The Radar] By Matt Fink Jonathan Rado remembers it like it was yesterday. One night during the recording sessions for Foxygen’s sprawling 2014 sophomore release …And Star Power, his brain fried and his body exhausted, he sat down at the piano. He started to fumble around the keys with no particular intent and found […]
[DIY Mag] When Foxygen announced their ‘Farewell Tour’ in 2015, it seemed more likely that the band were up to their old tricks than actually considering splitting up. But with the two-year hiatus that followed, the future seemed uncertain for the duo. Against all odds, the LA psych-pop outfit have emerged this year with a […]
[Aquarium Drunkard] Welcome to the first installment of an ongoing series with Pickathon, showcasing footage from the Galaxy Barn located at Pendarvis Farm in Oregon. Today we kick off with Foxygen’s “Cosmic Vibrations”. Watch here!