Over the past couple of months, the St. Louis quartet Foxing have been getting ready to unveil their intensely ambitious new album Nearer My God. From the first preview via “Slapstick,” it was clear that this outing would be something different from the once-nominally-emo group. From there, that only became more obvious, whether through the surging anthem of a title track or the danceable indie-funk of “Gameshark.”
Foxing teamed up with former Death Cab For Cutie member turned producer Chris Walla for Nearer My God, and together they crafted an album that’s hard to pigeonhole in any one place. There are traces of emo, sure, but there are also melodies that strive for U2-sized transcendence and weird rhythmic puzzle-grooves adorned with more disconcerting elements in the way that TV On The Radio prefers to dance through the apocalypse. You could go crazy with concocted hyphenated genres describing this thing, but the quickest route is to regard it as a rock album unconcerned with anything but connecting with people, with its own idiosyncratic vision.
It is, of course, also a rock album concerned with survival. As Foxing told us in an interview earlier this year, there have been plenty of existential threats to their continuation as a band. And Nearer My God, though obviously overflowing with emotion, is overflowing with the kind of ambition that comes in those make-or-break moments. It’s the sound of a band laying it all on the line, just in cast this is the last time they ever get to do it — or in defiance, to let people know they’ll keep fighting onwards. Check out the whole thing for yourself below.