Review: Foxy Dads Explore the In-Betweens on Debut Album, ‘Songs from the LIRR’

Foxy Dads © 2018
Foxy Dads © 2018
Foxy Dads astound us with their lyrical witticism, dark humor, and whimsical sounds on their first full length LP Songs from the LIRR.

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Cute, quirky, and unapologetically honest: That is how we would describe the bouncy sound of New York band, Foxy Dads. Their debut LP Songs from the LIRR was released on December 15 this past year.

Just 2 indie angels looking 2 party : – ),” reads their twitter bio – and the old style emoji isn’t the only vintage thing about them. Songwriter Ilana Hope’s airy voice dances over synths and keyboards, almost tricking you into thinking this album came out in the 90s. Songs from the LIRR sounds like the soundtrack to an old school dating simulator video game if the main character was clinically depressed.

Songs from the LIRR – Foxy Dads

Everyone tells me that they
like my music cuz it’s honest
but sometimes I wish
I wouldn’t talk about this stuff

Hope muses over simple piano chords in “It’s Everybody’s Birthday Today.” While their sound may feels like a blast from the past, their lyrics explore sadness and depression in a way that is strikingly nuanced and truthful.

I’m sad, why can’t the world be sad with me
Why is everyone so happy

Hope’s lyrics drip with sarcasm but give light to the feelings of guilt that often accompany depression. You want the world to cater to your needs, but know that it’s selfish to feel this way. It’s hard not to feel selfish when the world is crashing down feels as though it is crashing down around you. It’s isolating, painful, and frustrating. It’s ironic how many people relate to these feelings of isolation.

I just wanna get high with my friends tonight, I just wanna end my life sometimes” sings Hope to an impossibly catchy tune in “Hi :~.“ Their  dark humor is truly the breakout star of the album. The way their voice floats casually over such a dark image captures a feeling that is rarely discussed when discussing mental health. Depression often brings people to peace with their own death in a way that those who are lucky enough to be neurotypical do not experience.

This album is not about healing — it’s about coping and making it through the day.

The title of the album, “Songs from the LIRR,” captures the in betweenness of the album. In between cities, in between sounds, in between sadness. No track represents this more than “My Mom was a Witch Tru Life,” a personal favorite track of mine.

I wanna put my boy shoes on
I wanna disappoint my mom
I wanna wear what I want

Hope Coos over soft guitars and soothing synths, exploring the longing for the simple things in life— going to the zoo with someone you love, wearing the clothes that you like, reading the Village Voice on a park bench. These images evoke fantasies of normalcy that many queer people long to grab onto.

Songs from the LIRR basks in the tribulations of queerness and loneliness in a city with over 8 million people in it. The honesty Hope brings with every lyric is daring and inspiring while the soft instrumentals evoke a melancholic tone that feels safe and familiar. While the album is centered around sadness, moments of hope are peppered into its narrative. Its “Outro” ends with the words,

I hope my band gets big
I hope your band gets big
I hope we both get famous and never quit

An affirmation spoken as an incantation, a wish born from desperation for a brighter future — reminding us that no feeling lasts forever and while we cannot predict the future, we can always hope for it to be better than the present.

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:: stream/purchase Songs from the LIRR here ::

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Songs from the LIRR - foxy dads

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photo © Judy Bellee

:: Songs from the LIRR ::

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