Release Date: October 30, 2015
Length: 45 minutes
Specs of my pressing: Single LP, Gatefold, Blue (Tour Pressing), Limited to 600
I would just like to start this review out by saying that this was one of my favorite albums released in 2015. I have seen Foxing live twice already and plan on seeing them even more because they put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.The whole band puts everything they have into their performances and singer Conor Murphy’s emotion behind his lyrics is heavily felt. This comes through greatly on their first album The Albatross; through every track you can hear the emotions that Conor is feeling and it is easy to tell how much he cares because of the rawness of his vocals. Dealer, however, you don’t feel that emotion as much. This album is a lot more precise, calculated, calm, and different, but not in a bad way. There are still songs that you can feel Conor’s emotion, it just doesn’t show through as much here.
This is an album where the track-listing is very important. Many songs such as Glass Coughs, Eiffel, and Coda flow from the ones before them and make the album sound like one cohesive piece. In fact, on the second side of this album, tracks 7-10 sound like one hugely-packed song. It starts of with the slow and extremely calm Redwoods, then flows into the climactic and emotional songs Glass Coughs and Eiffel, and finishes back off with the soothing instrumental of Coda. This signature emotion that only Conor Murphy can really bring comes through heavily on Glass Coughs and Eiffel, and also the track Night Channels as well. This whole album is very different than The Albatross but I believe it shows a good progression of the band. Dealer is very clean and you can tell a lot of time, effort, and emotions were poured into this, but they come across as more calculated and planned out rather than just letting everything go and letting emotions run free. The instrumentation of this album is amazing to say the least. On some tracks like Three On a Match and Indica the instruments are simple and let you focus more on the lyrics of the song. However, on other songs on this album like Laundered , The Magdalene, and Glass Coughs the backing instruments are really what the song focuses on. Every instrument is doing something completely different but they all flow together to create a beautiful, cohesive piece. They have music added in from clarinets, french horns, saxophones, violins, and much more that really take this album over the top.
Another interesting thing about this album is that apart from Glass Coughs, none of the lyrics are very catchy. This album is more like a piece of art, something y0u really sit down with and focus on. Dealer was made for those days where you are trapped inside and just want to listen to something, or nights where all you want to do is drive and have something beautiful to focus on in order to drown out all of your other thoughts. The lyrics are very interesting and not something that would get stuck in your head right away, but something that you would listen to and become intrigued so you would want to listen again and again. If you want to listen to something that will completely surround you with a sense of tranquility, then this is definitely something that you should check out.
Now, let’s talk about the pressing quality of this album. There isn’t anything super special quality-wise about my pressing. It isn’t 180 gram pressed super well but, that being said, it does still sound very good. I was very able tell the difference listening to this album on vinyl compared to listening to it digitally. The difference was subtle, however. There were a few songs where the guitar was clearer or where I could hear the slight addition of an instrument or background vocals that I didn’t notice digitally. The pressing quality didn’t blow my mind, but it was still definitely very good and worth checking out and listening to on vinyl format.
As for add-ons, this pressing of the album was a definite hit. It is a gatefold record with beautiful art on the inside; the lyrics on one side and the acknowledgements on the other. I was extremely impressed with the cover and backside of this album as well. The title and track-list are only visible when light hits it and I thought that was very creative and haven’t seen that on an album before. The sleeve that the record comes in has a beautiful design that fits well with the rest of the artwork. Also, my specific blue pressing of the album was only available to buy at Foxing shows and only 600 were made so that definitely adds to my appreciation of the pressing that I own.
Overall, this is definitely an album to check out. It’s dreamy, it’s clean, it’s downright beautiful. If you do have a record player then this would be a great addition to your collection. I have posted links below including where you can stream this album online for free, where you can buy my specific pressing, and a live session of Foxing’s older music that I find extremely intriguing. Dealer is definitely different than Foxing’s debut album, but it’s a good change that comes with progression and growth. This album truly is an emo lover’s dream.
Pressing quality: 7/10
Where to find this:
Audiotree Session- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLunIrIqYqs7-IYQKcCxhyJEgNgWIYTfoZ
Dealer on Bandcamp- https://foxingtheband.bandcamp.com/album/dealer-3
Buy the Tour Pressing- https://www.discogs.com/Foxing-Dealer/release/7677047