First Impressions (7/8/2021)

In an attempt to be productive and to commentate on new music releases, I’m going to start (hopefully) a regular series of posts simply titled “First Impressions”. Here is my take on some of this week’s new releases.

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Foxing – Draw Down The Moon

For one reason or another, I never fully grasped Foxing’s 2018 album, ‘Nearer My God’ (besides its title track). It’s a record I know I should go back to, but just haven’t.

Album number four, ‘Draw Down The Moon’ somewhat continues their progression. Having embraced atmospheric emo, post-rock, and art rock on past releases, the Missouri trio have served up a pleasing melting pot this time out.

From the stripped back funkiness of ‘Go Down Together’, the infectious ‘Where The Lightning Strikes Twice’, to the synth-laden experimentation of ‘If I Believed In Love’, the astronomical pulsating beat of ‘Bialystok’, to ‘At Least We Found The Floor’s meditative acoustics, Foxing effortlessly blend together various sound and styles. While the distinctive and emotionally torn vocals of Conor Murphy is what threads ‘DDTM’ together, ultimately serving as its anchor. The sentimental weight ties these songs down, preventing them from getting lost in a hazy cloud of sounds.

As December Falls – Happier.

As December Falls is a name who I’ve seen kicking about for a few years; probably because they’re from Nottingham. I’ve probably seen them at an all-dayer. Anyway, ‘Happier.’ is their second full-length. It’s your run-of-the-mill pop-rock affair. Big hooks and bold instrumentation aplenty.

Sure, Bethany Curtis has impressive vocals, albeit slightly “Americanised”. While Ande Hunter stands out with some stellar riffs throughout, even if ‘Afterglow’ instantly reminded me of My Chemical Romance’s ‘Na Na Na’.

I don’t doubt As December Falls will find an audience that will embrace their tried and tested style.

Dude Trips – You Are The Reason I Hate Leaving

This Scottish emo-rock outfit is a band I covered back when they released their 2019 LP, ‘Through Love & Death, You’re All I Have Left‘. It saw the quartet execute a poignant mix of brittle ballads and cathartic hooks, clouded in regret.

‘You Are The Reason I Hate Leaving’ arrives just months after the ‘Songs for the Broken Hearted’. An EP that completely passed me by. Nevertheless, ‘You The Reason…’ comfortably sticks to the emotional-tugging formula that continues to make Dude Trips a promising prospect.

The bookend pairing of ‘Leaving’ and ‘Gentle’ exemplifies their ability to delicately capture listeners attention through their tales of grief and loss. However, when they’re not wallowing, songs such as ‘Evergreen’ and ‘Polola’ thrive with optimism, embracing bold rock hooks.

Overall, ‘You The Reason…’ is a rich addition to a heartfelt arsenal of songs for Dude Trips.

What do you think to the new releases from Foxing, As December Falls, and Dude Trips? Let me know on Twitter – @SeanReid86.