Self Titled // Arts & Crafts

There’s an old line of thinking about pop songwriting that says the best pop songs seem as if they couldn’t have been put together any other way; every single decision perfectly follows a certain clockwork internal logic set out at the beginning of any given piece. Foxwarren’s debut self-titled album stays true to that ethos; each track flows perfectly into the next, creating a record that seems both meticulously constructed and effortlessly tuneful. This impression of the band as a well oiled machine makes sense considering their origins as childhood friends and, in the case of the bassist and drummer, siblings. The songs all take on shades of the solo work by lead singer Andy Shauf, but tend to play a little looser with their musical ideas. Compared to The Party or Bearer of Bad News, this album harnesses a slight edge in rock & roll sensibility. “Fall Into a Dream” stands out as one of the most interesting tracks; it shifts between hooky, double-time guitar riffs and more subdued half-time sections, highlighting Shauf’s wispy poetics and harmonies. There are some subtle experimental noises and textures towards the end as well, something that re-occurs on other stand-outs, “I’ll Be Alright” and “Lost on You”. It’s a record some 10 years in the making, and the thoughtfulness that comes with that definitely shines through. One can hope we don’t have to wait another 10 years for a follow up.

- Sean Newton