Foxygen is an American indie rock duo originally formed in Westlake Village, California, in 2005 by Jonathan Rado and Sam France.Hyden, Steven (July 23, 2012). "Review: Take The Kids Off Broadway". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
Rado and France started the band in high school when both were fifteen. After their formation in 2005, the band played wildly experimental music, which featured many influences from 60s psychedelia and avant-garde. They self-released many EPs between 2007 and 2011, only a few of which are still available online. In early 2011, they were 'discovered' by famed producer Richard Swift after handing him their Take the Kids Off Broadway EP at a Mynabird's show in New York. The EP was also self-released at some point in mid-2011. The group were later signed on to Jagjaguwar Records and their first studio album, Take the Kids Off Broadway, was released by Jagjaguwar on July 24, 2012.
On January 22, 2013, Jagjaguwar released Foxygen's second album, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic. This album was produced by Richard Swift and recorded at his National Freedom studio earlier this year. The record was preceded by the single "Shuggie," released on October 4, 2012. In March 2013, Foxygen was named one of Fuse TV's 30 must-see artists at SXSW. The band suffered public drama as documented by Sam France's ex girlfriend, Elizabeth Fey, on a Tumblr post that was made public news by sites like Pitchfork and Stereogum.
The band has recently gained a reputation for its unhinged live shows and maniacal behavior of lead singer France, whose antics include hitting himself in the face with a microphone, climbing stage equipment, accosting hecklers and speaking in non sequiturs. Video of France's angry outburst at a heckler during South by Southwest in 2013 while touring their first official release went viral after it appeared on sites like Pitchfork. On Monday, July 29, 2013, at 10:36 PM CST, during a performance at First Avenue in Minneapolis, France fell off the stage during the first song of the show, only to appear some time later being carted off by EMS, where he was taken to the hospital with a broken leg. On their recent tours promoting "…And Star Power," the group expanded to a nine-piece including three back-up singer/dancers.Thomas, Fred. "Review: Take The Kids Off Broadway". allmusic. Retrieved August 14, 2012. Fitzmaurice, Larry (October 4, 2012). Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 15, 2012. "30 Must-See Acts at SXSW 2013 - Photos - South by Southwest - Festivals". Fuse. 2013-02-28. Retrieved 2013-04-26. http://pitchfork.com/news/51658-foxygen-inter-band-turmoil-exposed-in-blog-post-but-band-not-breaking-up/ http://www.stereogum.com/1416881/foxygens-elizabeth-fey-exposes-band-drama-on-tumblr/news/
The Entertainment Weekly staff wrote, "We just can't stop playing the scruffy psych-rock duo's Rolling Stones-obsessed album with the appropriately exuberant title We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic." In January 2013, Pitchfork Media cited Foxygen under "Best New Music" in their review of the new album.
Their 2014 album, the Todd Rundgren-influenced ...And Star Power received decidedly mixed reviews. While Paste praised it as "...indulgent, unhinged, sprawling, funny and sometimes spookily great," and Slant Magazine called it a "dense and rewarding listen," other critics like Hal Horowitz at American Songwriter called it "...an occasionally interesting failed experiment.""The Must List: The Top 10 Things We Love This Week". Entertainment Weekly (New York: Time Inc.): 12. February 22, 2013. Greene, Jayson (2013-01-22). "Foxygen: We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2013-04-26.