California-based alt-rock outfit Fox Apts. releases their debut album, Omen, produced by Mitch Easter and the band, mastered by Greg Calbi.
Made up of Dave Kajganich (vocals), Jerry Popiel (bass, guitar), and Tom Stickley (drums), Fox Apts.’ name is taken from a hypothetical apartment building whose stories and tenants will change from album to album.
Written in an actual and palpably haunted room with an old stone fireplace and strangely excellent acoustics, the band recorded the album in North Carolina at The Fidelitorium under the auspices of Mitch Easter.
Fox Apts. wanted Omen to reflect shadows of American roots music, along with an ’80s atmosphere from the band’s alt-rock influences – akin to the soundtracks of psychological horror films from the past. Musical guests on the album include Pete Holsapple, Matt Douglas, Jeffrey Dean Foster, Chris Stamey, and Rex McGee.
Omen comprises a dozen tracks, beginning with “Stars Of The 10-32,” a track shaded by ominous savours and the deliciously mysterious vocals of Kajganich, whose voice conjures up suggestions of Eddie Vedder. This might be the best track on the album because of its granular, slightly malevolent mood.
On “Noon Moon,” Kajganich’s marvellously evocative voice recalls Gordon Lightfoot on “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” as well as 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up,” giving the lyrics a visible disturbance, gentle yet plaintive.
“But you won’t believe me, you won’t believe me anyway / You won’t believe me, you don’t believe a word I say / You wake and hit the stations / Haunt the F line, a Strat in your hand.”
With its slow, jarring intro, “Sixteen Days Without Sleep” conveys abstract speculations and obscure commentaries, giving the song a visceral yet expansive mood of psychic tension.
Talking about the track, Fox Apts. shares, “This song also has a structure that would be hard to describe but felt organic to us.”
The introductory, melancholic percussion pattern of “Deseret” sets the tone of the song – sad, yet beautiful in its glittering flow and darker accents. There’s a profound poignancy to the harmonic movement.
Fox Apts.’ sound is difficult to describe because of its latent stormy surfaces, summoning up elemental spirits and their causes.
Omen Track Listing:
1. Stars Of The 10-32
2. Monday Murders
3. Come And See
4. Noon Moon
5. Goliath Lumber Co.
6. State Street, 3rd Floor
7. Founders’ Blues
8. Roaring Spring
9. Sixteen Days Without Sleep
10. Robert Pruett
12. Ides and Etcetera
Run Time: 41:00
Release Date: April 7, 2023
Record Label: Independent