Seeing Other People is curiously positioned as Foxygen's most recent last-ever album. With every album the band dies; with every album the band is reborn. But unlike the last-ever Foxygen albums before it, this one seems to have a self-effacing bittersweetness to it that signifies some sort of passing; some sort of white flag. But it SOUNDS in no way like a band giving up. It has experiments in tone and genre the likes of which we've not heard on a Foxygen record since....Starpower?; since 21st Century?; since Take the Kids??? You don't need our hot take on this thing. Foxygen's Sam France wrote a personal note for fans on the meaning and intention of Seeing Other People:
As my partner Rado and I recorded the latest Foxygen album, I was putting the finishing touches on a memoir following my time in the band and music industry at large. While the following statement about the new record is not an excerpt from this memoir, it was written freshly upon completing it. It sealed a lot of things in my my mind/life/this new Foxygen album thematically. The memoir is a tell-all called Sam Francisco: Confessions of an Indie Rock Star and will be out very soon. But the new Foxygen record is called: Seeing Other People
In a relationship, saying "Maybe we should see other people" is the Adult way of saying, "Let's end shit." So, here is our Adult Contemporary album.
Is this the break-up album? Is the band breaking up?
Why does everybody keep asking that? We would like to compassionately ask our management, our fans and everyone else not to worry themselves. No. We're never breaking up. We're not a band and never were.
For me "Seeing Other People" just means goodbye: Goodbye to the drugs, to the partying. Goodbye to my twenties now, Goodbye to my Saint Laurent-model-body. Goodbye to the touring circus - that's right, no more shows or tours for a while. Goodbye, hopefully, to the anxiety attacks. Goodbye to beating myself up because I didn't fit into those leather pants anymore. Fuck it. Goodbye to the facilities. And goodbye the leeches in my life. I know a lot of gritty stories about a lot of players in this business but you'll have to read between the lines.
I remember a quote from Rado sticking with the press a few years ago about how we'd lived every rock n roll cliche in, about, one year. Well, here's the album about it. Another movie. I don't know what's next. But here's a snapshot of it all. And for some reason it's some sort of polished Yuppie-Pop masterpiece. It sounds like your dad's favorite recording artist circa 1985 sneaking off to the studio bathroom for a hit of blow. Or maybe, sometimes it sounds like Kanye West producing John Mellencamp. Please don't quote this paragraph (They're gonna put this one in all the headlines).
But damn if this isn't this some funky Music. RT&B music. Rado and me, walking into the morning sunshine after it all goes down, just doing what we do best - chopping up pop culture and spinning it into a sticky-ass, wicked-ass web. As for the production and all that, you'd have to ask Rado about the technojargon. What can I say? Rado does some good disc-scratching on "Work". Rado is - and should be and will be - acknowledged as one of the great revolutionary artists for all of his production work. But yes, also for his pop-sound modern art experiments with me, such as this album. The album is engineered and mixed by the brilliant superstar Shawn Everett. And only the legendary Jim Keltner on drums.
So, don't be blue. We've always been a recording project. I mean, to put it simply, we were sitting on a great record so we're putting it out. Thank you, I'm Sorry and You're Welcome. Here's the new Foxygen record. And don't worry, Jagjaguwar. It's an album of singles.
Love You All.
Living and learning as always,
Love God Bless,