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The Sound

Get spoiled by Foxygen at Hinterland


Foxygen will play at Hinterland at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 4.

Foxygen will play at Hinterland at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 4.

Ryan Adams, alt-J, Gary Clark Jr., The Head and the Heart, Dwight Yoakam and others will descend on St. Charles this month for the third annual Hinterland Music Festival. Among the lineup is Foxygen, a California psychedelic duo that is a mainstay of festivals, even though member Sam France doesn’t consider himself the type to normally hang out at festivals.

“I’m not a person who would go to a music festival naturally. I don’t like big crowds,” says France during a phone interview. “But I love playing festivals, I love the whole vibe. You have to appeal to a mass of people, as opposed to specific fans. You have to be a really hype act. Every show has that goal, but festivals are much more of a group mentality. My energy is going straight into connecting with a large amount of people.”

Foxygen is playing its 2017 album, “Hang,” in its entirety complete with a horn section. France says the band’s performance is planned out like a play, and after six months of playing these songs, he’s not humble about how they sound live.

“They’re classic; each one just seems classic to me,” says France. “It’s as if they’ve been old standards. Playing them all just seemed like the best thing to do; they’re not very long, and it won’t bore anyone with any snooze moments.”

Prep Iowa

France and Jonathan Rado have been performing together for more than a dozen years, starting when they were teenagers. Foxygen really broke through in 2013 with its second full length, “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic,” which featured the hit “No Destruction.”

Next came the epic (some might say “overstuffed”) 2014 release “… And Star Power,” a concept double album that didn’t get the rave reviews of “Peace & Magic.” “Hang” feels more like a return to form for Foxygen, though France says the collaborative process with Rado hasn’t changed much since their teenage years.

“I don’t know how much has changed. I’m really just grateful it always works,” France says. “I think we’re lucky; we don’t try to change much. We stick to a formula that always works. We’re just always writing together and having fun.”

After the summer touring wraps up, France says he and Rado are planning to head into the studio for… something.

“It’s always touring, recording and then doing the whole thing over again,” France says. “I can’t reveal much that’s in the works. We have a very top secret style; I can’t let the spoilers get out.” ♦

Hinterland schedule

Friday, Aug. 4

5:15 p.m. Annalibera

6:30 p.m. Foxygen

8 p.m. The Head and the Heart

9:30 p.m. alt-J

Saturday, Aug. 5

12:45 p.m. Max Jury

1:45 p.m. The Cactus Blossoms

2:45 p.m. JD McPherson

4 p.m. Nikki Lane

5:15 p.m. Shakey Graves

6:30 p.m. Dwight Yoakam

8 p.m. Gary Clark Jr.

9:30 p.m. Ryan Adams



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