When Foxygen's Jonathan Rado announced his solo debut, it sounded like it would be a low-stakes respite from the live-blogged train wreck of his main gig. Then touring member and songwriting partner Elizabeth Fey, Sam France's girlfriend, wrote a revealing Tumblr post that alleged it was recorded behind the band's back and without their consent. Welcome to the world of buzz band drama, where even a recorded-at-home-on-an-8-track album comes embroiled in controversy.
It's funny that Foxygen have become such a hype/backlash lightning rod, given the breezy, retro-tinged nature of their music. Like their concerts, Rado's solo album is as frustrating as it is infectious. Songs like Seven Horses, Hand In Mine and the shuffling Booker T-evoking instrumental Dance Away Your Ego hit the kind of familiar, nostalgic, winsome notes that would sound at home on a Wes Anderson soundtrack.
But then hissy distorted drones like Looking 4a Girl Like U and I Wanna Feel It Now!!! come along and send you scrambling for the next groove. Fun and charming in places, barely listenable in others.
Top track: Hand In Mine