I've been making music for half my life.
Before I was a dance music producer, I was in a rock n roll band AND a new wave band; before that, I was dabbling with heavy metal, and I also spent a good year or two composing my own concept album with a proper story and everything.
My first band however, was a punk band. From the age of fourteen til almost nineteen, I played in a couple of different punk outfits (the second, Hummer, is still going, and if you like gritty punk then I highly recommend you check them out). But my musical tastes have always been in flux, and as time went by I became far more interested in indie bands like Arctic Monkeys, Foals, The Wombats... Basically anything to do with animals it seems. Is it any wonder then that when The Foxfires landed in my inbox my musical nostalgic interest was instantly peaked?
To be honest with you, my initial response was 'this isn't for me', simply because I've always had a pretty solid idea of how my list should sound and the kinds of songs I'll accept on it - you'll notice I'm mostly dance and electronica-oriented on here, and the only hint at indie (from my personal entries at least) so far has been 'Bow' by Kasabian. But there was something about this band that made me want to delve deeper, explore their sound a little more, because I genuinely wanted to find something from them that would vibe well with my list.
And find it I did! The eponymous track from their 2016 album 'Reawakening' was everything the Matt from ten years ago would have wanted in an indie track: it's uplifting, it's got pretty little melodies running throughout, and Christian's voice has a tone I can only describe as 'friendly' - listening to a Foxfires song is like listening to your best pal talk; it's familiar, it's reassuring. What really stood out for me though was the drumming. Not because it's particularly flash (that'd sound out of place in this kind of genre, and I've seen so many good indie bands shoot themselves in the foot because their drummer thought he was the next Portnoy), but because this is exactly the style of drumming I was trying to bring to the bands I was playing in in the late 2000s - much to the annoyance of my punk-minded band mates...
The best thing about this song though is how unpredictable it is. It starts off with this nice and casual intro, with lazy Sunday vibes, the kind you'd walk your dog along the beach to. When we hit the chorus, your ear says to you, 'yep, I heard this coming, this is the logical progression for a song of this calibre, I absolutely knew this would... wait hang on a minute, what's happening now?!', as the second half of the chorus comes storming in with four on the floor, Queens of the Stone Age-style beats and everything opens up - I can only imagine how a crowd would react to this in a live scenario!
This is the kind of music I really look for for Saving the World! to - stuff that catches you off guard, takes listening to another level, and emulates some aspect of the human experience. Sonically, 'Reawakening' is a perfect emulation of how we can often be taking a casual, lazy Sunday approach to living our lives, when all of sudden something sparks that sense of adventure, gives us a kick up the arse, and pushes us to heights we didn't think possible. We all need a little reawakening in our lives from time to time, because it's so easy to end up in a rut, and if this song doesn't help to push you to get out and do something a little bit funky today then I don't think there's a song on this list that will!
The suckers for continuity amongst you will hasten to point out that last week I promised a lot more house music, and then this week threw out an indie curveball. To that I say, a good hero never plays by the rules, and I like to keep you on your toes (seriously though, there will be a lot more house music to come I promise).
Enjoy this week's entry (possibly the most I've written so far, Andrew? (Editor's note: Probably ;-p)), and if you're not typically an indie fan, maybe, just maybe, this will be the track to convert you to the cool side of the force!
Clarity by Ellipsis
The Music to Save The World playlist is sponsored this month by Himalaya from Ellipsis.
The journey begins - fresh Chillstep from Ellipsis to help you focus. Stream it now:
You can learn more about The Foxfires here:
About the curator - Matt Jenko
Matt Jenko is a university postgraduate and music producer with an unhealthy obsession with Rick & Morty and all things Game of Thrones. When he’s not in the studio (a rare occurrence these days), he’s fueling his passion for music either on the net or out in the real world. He likes being out in the nature (in the least strenuous capacity though, let’s be real here) and chilling with his cat, and he’s also pretty proud of his mammoth collection of books that he’s never read.