March 15, 2016 — “Captain” by OxenFree


If you only listen to one song today, make it “Captain” by OxenFree (2016, from the forthcoming album Beacons).

OxenFree is an indie rock quintet from Brooklyn. They formed in 2013, and they released their first EP — Fire, If We’re Anything— in 2014. With that release, they won comparisons to Canadian supergroups The New Pornogrphers and Broken Social Scene. I’m on board with those (the latter more than the former) but they were also compared to The Replacements, and I don’t really see the comparison there.

I didn’t know about the band until I got a couple of emails about them and a preview copy of their forthcoming debut album. Although it’s not quite as pronounced on today’s song, the rest of the album really does remind me of a You Forgot it In People-era BSS. I love that album to pieces, so the fact that this OxenFree album reminds me of it is a very good thing.

Again, this song only sounds a little like BSS. The rest of the album sounds a LOT like them.

I love the energy behind this. With this song, I’m reminded a little of Milwaukee post-rock/indie folk group Altos. In case you don’t know that band’s name, they’re a 12-piece band. BSS had as many as 17 members at any given time. The point is that OxenFree, with its five members, reminds me of two bands that have more than 10 members and many more moving parts.

While I’m not crazy about OxenFree’s name, I like what they’re doing. I’ve listened to the whole album a couple of times, and I’m very impressed. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up doing very well on my 2016 year-end list.

The album comes out on May 13 via Brooklyn-based Sneaky Bear Records. You can pre-order a digital download or purple vinyl physical copy via Bandcamp here.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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