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Album Review

Foxing – The Albatross


‘The Albatross’ buries itself in your gut and wrenches itself back and forth for the duration.

Label: Triple Crown
Released: 8th June 2015 (UK release)

Rating: ★★★★

“Because I cannot contain you,” scream Foxing at the close of ‘The Albatross’, one last, defeated realisation before the gentle instrumental walk away follows the path back to opening track, ‘Bloodhounds’. The quintet from Missouri’s debut album is a tragically cyclical journey tackling the themes of loss, guilt and regret through lush, detailed landscapes much like Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner’. That romantic epic created the metaphorical albatross around the neck that can be found tied to the throat of ‘Bloodhounds’ but more than simply busying themselves with smirking literary references, Foxing craft a powerfully affecting narrative with a similar sense of timelessness.

From the stuttering introduction of ‘Bloodhound’, through the fidgeting dance of ‘Den Mother’ until the sparse refrain of ‘Quietus’ and back again ‘The Albatross’ buries itself in your gut and wrenches itself back and forth for the duration.

‘Rory’ is a cinematic masterpiece with the ever-increasing cries of “Why don’t you love me back,” cutting deeper every time while the gentle sway of ‘Bit By A Dead Bee Part II’ allows the delicate instrumental a chance to cradle and shine. Swelling from intimate brushstrokes to viscous swathes of colour before falling away again, Foxing toy with blame and anguish. This carefully planned rise and destruction gives the heavy lyrical admission a jagged edge. “I’m not waving, I’m drowning,” comes the clarity of ‘Inuit’ while ‘The Medic’ swirls with the quiet cry of “I want to be loved.”

Grandiose, complex but painfully personal, ‘The Albatross’ is a rich, detailed tapestry that gives away a little more with every rotation. ‘The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner’ concludes with, “A sadder and a wiser man.” Stepping back from Foxing’s debut, it’s difficult to escape that lasting curse turning ‘The Albatross’ into a haunting, engaging promise. Ali Shutler