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Foxing Draw Down the Moon

The St. Louis art rockers prove selling out can be freeing.

Released: 6 August 2021
Draw Down the Moon

“I can be romantic / when I’m starving for sleep”, opened Foxing’s last album, Nearer My God, which took a biblical phrase to title an astounding album about reaching for transcendence while freaking out at airports and hallucinating dead friends. In the three years since, they’ve flipped the script to make a gorgeous pop-rock album.

Foxing are a fascinating case study. For all their critical acclaim and online veneration, they’re pretty broke. When someone crashes into their van, steals $30,000 worth of equipment or breaks their frontman’s nose, it could be financially crippling (all of that happened). Conor Murphy can voice his audience’s woes without having to pretend he knows what they’re experiencing. Draw Down The Moon continues this search for success and also divinity – the title alludes to an ancient Wiccan ritual and the album can feel like a resolved pop-rock sermon

It’s not hard to imagine their newly-found four-on-the-floor drums and radio-trendy vocal distortion turning away fans who clung to their first two emo albums. But rather than a shot at fame, this is a mutating album that escapes definition the more you listen. Gone is the grandiloquent instrumentation of Nearer My God (strings, harmonies, even bagpipes). Draw Down The Moon is often verse-chorus-verse, but that brevity lets each lyric stack up until the meaning becomes almost unbearable.

It’s all so grinding and alienating that it gets to Murphy himself, like on standout ‘Bialystok’, where he longs for the comforting normality of fighting with a loved one: “I was just thinking about arguing in the kitchen / Just to be the one that you argue with / Is a miracle in itself.” This loneliness permeates much of the album, which is full of stadium-loud songs ready to echo through empty chambers. Call that a Holy Ghost.

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