Foxing - Dealer (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Dealer (2015)

Triple Crown Records

Foxing paint the most melodramatic of pictures. The Albatross was a heartbreaking album and one of the most powerful and moving I've heard. "Rory" still haunts me to this very day because this album portended dire circumstances yet left you on a note of optimism.  It drew hope in a bleak world with Conor Murphy's lyrics chock -full of momentous depth. But it's his gut-wrenching yet beautiful style of delivery that really raises the bar. Dealer sees them graduate from indie/math rock to a more existential frame of mind. This mindset's composed amid a haze of post-rock distortion and equally agonizing storytelling which feels very familiar but is still daring enough and more so, free, to differentiate this record from their others.

"Laundered" is a great example of this gloomy post-rock atmosphere. At various parts you pick up a sense of Explosions In The Sky, then at others, bands like American Football, TWIABP, Alcest and Sigur Ros pop to mind. "Night Channels" is another track which follows suit. Melodically painful amid its intricate guitar-work -- which in turn really hypes the more shimmery tracks like "Magdalene". This track in particular stands out as it talks about Murphy's struggle with Catholicism and sexual expression. They all signal a quiet ambition, a feel of repression and an intensity which drags on and on. In a good way. The stark reality sets in with less pained cries from Murphy and more croons. The symphonic sound created from the myriad of pianos and trumpets help build this world of vulnerability and burden quite well. So much grief and PTSD emerge as the band unravels, speaking plainly with much more ballads triggering their sound.

Foxing continue to hold absolutely nothing back. There are so many moments of catharsis despite a few songs feeling repetitive or filler. It's bold, jammed with raw emotion and to top that, brutally honest. Dealer is one of their strongest pieces of music to date as the acoustic "Three On A Match" indicates. I expected some sort of indie explosion as the finale but this draws the curtains pretty nicely on a record that can only be summed up as thought-provoking.