CD Review – Foxwarren: Has Been Defeated
Regina's own Foxwarren know how to work with space. The nine tracks of their debut Has Been Defeated, released last week as a pay-what-you-want download at foxwarren.bandcamp.com, alternate between indulgence and restraint, but never feel too rich or too empty. At times, Has Been Defeated could sit comfortably near any Bon Iver release, though it also possesses the texture and momentum of a National record. Primary songwriter Darryl Kissick expertly shapes off-kilter melodies into pop gems like “Car Wreck” and “A Way Out”, while bassist Andy Shauf’s contributions are more straightforward and reminiscent of his solo output. Dissonant pieces like “Robins Sing” appear along the way, as well. But every track here has the same charming grace and shares the same sonic atmosphere, replete with clinking glasses and muffled studio chatter. The men of Foxwarren spent a long time perfecting Has Been Defeated, and while that’s clear upon listening, it never feels like any song or element has been overworked. It’s a strong, sophisticated album that’s made all the more gorgeous by the space it occupies.