Ep Review :: Foxwell :: Just So 

Foxwell just so EP cover beige with psychedelic squiggles

by Paul Newsom

Foxwell’s Just So EP is equal parts wacky and soulful, alien and human. The Winnipeg group are masters of orchestration, from stirring strings through mysterious feedback. Every hi-hat trill, every chiming synth, rings out clearly and deeply through a voluminous four-song setlist. 

“Running” is the record’s most urgent song, anchored by energetic bass and synthesized weirdness. “You’ve gotta try/Keep holding court just to stay alive,” echoes in a cheering chant. 

“Not a Worry” centers on unison backing vocals and curious strings. Heightening the previous track’s echoey production further still, the song is defined by moving parts shifting in and out from each other in an ambiguous form. Synths seem to become strings; the violin takes over to play the bassline at turns. Elaborate lyrical lines return to the song title’s soothing mantra.

“Abode” begins purely acoustic and swells to a bridge whose guitars flow like theremin tones. The backing vocals are harmonic; the lead vocals ever so slightly distorted to a warm hum. “Abode” is a lullaby, sounding simultaneously as home-like as its title would imply and as otherworldly as 60s psychedelia. 

“Bit of That Going Around,” the EPs live closer, feels fittingly active and extroverted. Its synth tune would hardly sound out of place in a Sonic the Hedgehog level. Strings pick up from the synths at turns, echoing their waves in punctuated tones. The bridge rings with church-choral vocals, and the record sees itself out with a soaring guitar solo.

Foxwell has fashioned one of the more compelling and articulate pieces of modern psychedelic music. And they’ve done it with just four songs. 

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