A young man with shaggy hair, dressed in a collared paisley button-down and multiple beaded necklaces with a peaceful and “no destruction” attitude walks by you with a cool grin…no, this is not a scene from a Woodstock or Haight-Ashbury documentary, but rather a description of the lead-singer of the psychedelic indie-rock band, Foxygen. The band formed in California in 2005 when Sam France and guitarist/keyboardist Jonathan Rado were just 15 years old playing some local gigs and mainly making appearances at their high school. At that time, The Beatles, other 1960s artists, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre were their main influences.
Their first album, “Jurassic Explosion Philippic,” released in 2007, was recorded when the guys were just 15 years old. In previous interviews, Rado has called this album a “30-track space opera,” and anyone who has listened to their style knows the accuracy of that statement. A few years later in 2012, their second full-length album, “Take The Kids Off Broadway” was released followed by “We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic” this past January. The singles “Shuggie,” “No Destruction,” and “San Francisco” and the religious-infused “On Blue Mountain” are the more well known and aired from the band.
Foxygen has been compared to the sounds and feelings from The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and in general, a throwback to the political and peaceful lyrics and trippy psychedelic vibes from an bygone era. There are moments when watching live performances by France where his wide, spaced-out eyes and gyrating nature can almost appear spooky but there is, at the same time, a complete wash of kind-heartedness, reminiscent of someone protesting for peace and handing out flowers decades ago in a time of turmoil. These guys are certainly part of the flower-child music of our generation. If you haven’t downloaded their album yet, get on it, because warmer days are here and these are all around cool, chill dudes who you’re going to totally want to hang with all summer long.