Monday, April 25, 2011

Music To Discover: 61

Foe
Okay. This band is a little off-kilter, but I'm strangely fascinated by their music and I can totally see them becoming a cult-explosion. Hannah Louise Clark, the vocals, and Adam M Crisp make up Foe. Hannah, when she was only 10, was routinely called a witch by her classmates and her point of view on the world was critically altered by the events of 9/11. At a young age, Hannah also experienced hallucinations, but today, she routinely wears wigs and finds much enjoyment in Frank Zappa records. Operating from Fleet, Hampshire, Foe employs spastic electronics, circus organ, and noise-genre-esque guitars and production to create a kind of sound that is not only chaotic but quite unpredictable. Lyrically, the band borders on surrealism with unique plays with words and generally un-inviting imagery. Interestingly, Foe's attempt at pop music primarily serves to critique the current state of the genre, discussing "selling out" and how superficial the top 40 world really is. Dresden Dolls meets PJ Harvey meets Spark meets noise-electro-punk? It's crazy, yeah, and definitely not for everybody, but nonetheless fascinating.
(image and info from http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/apr/12/foe-new-band)

I can't very easily begin to explain anything about Foe, really.
I first saw something about Foe on rcrdlbl.com, I believe a remix or some such and the remix was sub-par so I kind of just tossed the whole thing aside. And then somehow, I re-stumbled upon Foe and saw that she/they had released more original tracks that were interesting, but slightly hard to understand.

What I mean is, Foe is so extremely experimental that upon first listen one kind of has to mull it over for a bit. At least, that was my experience with their music. Upon listening to their popular, Tyrant Song, one is first lured into a scene like a 40s horror movie and then barraged by a heavy guitar riff and then soon, harsh and unforgiving lyrics. The lyrics though, I think, are where Foe really shines. I say so, because there isn't any kind of fascination with a dj 'turnin' it up' or maintaining some kind of trope in popular music where every song is about love, or sex, or break ups, or love, or dancing in the club, or love...




(image from http://foe-mania.tumblr.com/post/4672280674/by-bluebell-xx)

In Tyrant Song, Hannah speaks to the listener

"Are you ready for the next big thing?
Are you ready for a clown in a g-string?"

And, when thought about, this appears mostly as a statement to the current state of popular music; this kind of popularized obsession with novelty and the "strange". While songs like Genie In A Coke utilizes rhetorical devices like anaphora and alliteration to create an alluring, hypnotic spiral of lyrical cynicism. Genie In A Coke can outright calls out the top-40 by saying 
"Popstar trash, you're better than that."

Foe's music remains pretty lo-fi, somewhat deliberately, and somewhat not. And when I say 'Lo-fi' I don't mean it in the obnoxious-everyotherindiebandthatthinksthey'llmakeitbasedonthefactthattheirmusicisrecordedonanoldcomputer/casseteplayerway. (Phew). But I mean, the whole production sounds very homemade and grassroots. Which is also evidenced by the fact that Hannah herself makes every cover of their debut ep, Hot New Trash, herself. The guitars sound garage-y, bitter and cold, the lyrics sound cynical, and Hannah's voice itself is cool-ly jaded and spoken through a critical and sharp tongue. And most interestingly, the usage of organ pipes and various other circus-y noises adds to ominous and somewhat disconcerting sound the band can give off.

(image from http://www.last.fm/music/Foe/+images/41840689)

I'll admit, Foe isn't a very accessible band, in terms of their unique sound. But for those who find themselves fans of what they hear, they'll undoubtedly become hooked. Foe is subversively genius and incredibly well thought out in their critique on the current state of popularized music. And they nonetheless beautifully critique that state by turning conventional music on its head and creating a truly unique sound.

Also. Shirley Manson, of Garbage, endorses the band. And considering she's basically on Godly-status in my opinion, you should probably check Foe out.

If you're a fan of...
-The Dresden Dolls
-Evelyn Evelyn
-PJ Harvey
-Crystal Castles
-Or some weird combination of the above-mentioned...
then be sure to check Foe out!

Listen to their songs...
-Genie In A Coke Can
-Tyrant Song
-Ape Song
-A Handsome Stranger Called Death

Tyrant Song

Remix(es) Of The Day 

Fukkk Off- Brain Rock (Cyberpunkers Remix)
I've been waiting for some excellent house remix to show up for a while. Mind you, I sometimes have trouble deliberately digging around for remixes, but you know what I mean. The song starts out simple with some bit-crushed snares here and there and then the song continues to progress into a dancefloor amicable jam. And while the build up/drop isn't the most amazing thing I've ever heard it is still incredibly satisfying and makes you want to stand up and dance, real bad.

Blackbird Blackbird- Avalanche (Star Slinger Remix)
Star Slinger is really garnering all kinds of attention in the blogosphere. And rightfully so!
The producer/dj proves himself with each of his tracks by creating sonically gorgeous collections of sounds.  Sounds that, collectively, seem to function like Paul Klee's painting Twittering Birds, slightly surreal and which each individual bird creating a unique but hypnotically melodic sound.
Excellent mix.


In other news.

Be sure to check out this free download from up and coming band Masters In France.
While it isn't necessarily my favorite track ever, it is quite a steal at a free price. The song is well crafted and characteristically pop. You can download the track here.
 A.I. (Artificial Inches) by mastersinfrance

 
Their newest ep. Artificial Inches, contains not only this title track, but also the track Little Girl. Little Girl is the track of my preference, it has received play on BBC Radio 1 and is so modernly mellow that it no mistake that it is the first single. Both songs are great and you should totally jump on the bandwagon before they really blow up. (Also, they're on tour throughout the U.K., be sure to check one of the events out!)



Secondly, if you're in the London area and are looking for a good show coming up in the near future then you absolutely should try to hit this one up.
All the information is on the poster.
If I was in London, hell, I'd be there in a heartbeat.


Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go finish all my homework I didn't do and choreograph and dance and play video games. It's spring break after all.
Love you all!
Adieu.

2 comments:

  1. Jacob, where did you find the Foe lyrics? I cannot find them anywhere. :/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just wrote them from what I heard, I didn't actually find them, sorry :/
    Good luck finding them!

    ReplyDelete

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