Of every band in North Texas, The Foxymorons may be in the weirdest place. Since forming in Mesquite in the mid-1990s, the duo of singer-songwriters David Dewese and Jerry James has achieved some national love, having received positive reviews from Pitchfork and Paste and having played sanctioned showcases at South by Southwest. But The Foxymorons don’t really exist outside of their recorded products. While James lives near the Cultural District, Dewese has spent the past five years in Southern California after 13 years in Nashville. Getting together to play shows is a teeeeensy bit tricky. The fact that The Foxymorons started out as just a fun thing for two friends to do is amazing. That they’re wrapping up their fifth studio album and sixth recording overall –– with Centro-matic’s Will Johnson on drums! –– is miraculous.
Recorded this spring at The Echo Lab in Denton with producer, longtime collaborator, and Centro-matic drummer Matt Pence, Fake Yoga will have about a dozen tracks and come out this fall, James said. However, he added, “Things always seem to take longer than we hope or would like.”
Recording began in earnest at James’ house in December 2013 during one of Dewese’s not-infrequent Fort Worth trips. “We typically just collect these songs,” James said, “and then eventually we record them and put them out in the world. It’s like a message in a bottle or something, and then we sort of move on and can’t wait to do it again.”
Indie-rock has rarely been catchier, shinier, or bubblier than on Foxymorons’ Bible Stories (2010), Hesitation Eyes (2005), Rodeo City (2001), and Calcutta (1999).
On Fake Yoga, though, expect a little more crunch and bite, James said. Life changes are partly to blame/credit. James left a job and did some traveling, and both he and Dewese have left their 30s in the dust. “I think that even though we feel perpetually 25, I think [aging is] something that we had to reckon with in different ways,” James said. “Ironically, as we’ve gotten older, we’ve made a record that’s noisier and more abrasive than our younger selves would have made.”
James said that Fake Yoga is laced with themes of anxiety and escape. Restlessness. “Maybe those things are in all of our records,” James said, “but maybe [it’s us] speaking to our younger selves.” Maybe, he said, the rowdiness is also a “reaction” to the fact that The Foxymorons’ previous couple albums were “refined”: neat and sparkling. “Maybe we’re just in a place where we wanted to make a racket,” James said.
Though you might think that James and Dewese are writing and recording in a vacuum, they’re actually pretty tuned in. Well, a little. “I always feel like we’re on an island,” James said. “We play guitars, electric guitars, and that’s the music we’ve been inspired by, and in a way, maybe the fact that we made this noisy guitar record is a reaction to so much synth-pop and electronic dance music. We just want to hug guitars.”
James isn’t sure what will happen after Fake Yoga comes out. A record, he said, is “a thing you put out into the world. You hope some likeminded people appreciate it. At the very least you’ve made this thing that you like.”
Typically, bands tour after putting out an album or EP. The Foxymorons don’t have that luxury. “We’ll see,” James said. “Maybe some shows. We’re just taking it a day at a time. But I would love to play shows in support of it. We’re gonna gather together some friends, do some sort of record release show or something, maybe just a low-key thing, just have people together in a room, somewhere in Fort Worth, to share drinks and listen to music or something.”
And that brings up a “wonderful thing” about Fort Worth. “There’s a real community around creative endeavors,” James said. “That’s the amazing thing about Fort Worth.”
If we demand it, maybe a local Foxymorons show will happen. We should.