Don’t hate San Francisco shoegaze band Foxtail Somersault because of great qualities. The band has a colorful composition style that can be compared to Blonde Redhead. While they’ve been on the college radio scene for a few years, throughout their evolution, the shoegaze band has explored instrumentation that is both cinematic and ambient. They compare with My Bloody Valentine, the Cocteau Twins, and Slowdive. Among the delightful great qualities and influences of Foxtail Somersault that transfix listeners is that same unexplainable feeling you get listening to the peculiar brew chemistry of Blonde Redhead. That feeling emerges out of Foxtail Somersault’s unerringly harmonic melodic landscape and unlimited composition. Not caught in a time capsule when it comes to influences, the band continues to add new contemporary musicians to their sonic library.
A little about the band:
The founder of Foxtail Somersault, guitarist Seiken Nakama, replanted himself from LA to San Francisco in the late 90’s and has been playing various instruments since he was eight years old. While their 2007 record fathom was completely composed by Seiken, with time, a more collaborative process led to the production of this year’s recording Reflection. The songs are tasteful like his fashion preference, which includes an allergy to neon and extremely colorful clothing outfits. Committed to an ever-evolving collaboration with the other band members, Seiken looks forward to growing old with his mates, swearing by Fender guitars, Dava picks and Lindy Fralin pickups. While Brian Anderson, the bass player, is ridiculously proud of his new Vespa, joining Foxtail Somersault was his first foray into shoegaze. He cynically expects two more EPs will be released in the next five years. Lead guitarist James Spadaro jokes about growing old with Seiken and says that it’s more likely that they might become broke down junkies and be made fun of on VH1, if all goes well. But with the second part of their name being conceived after the ’04 Olympic Games in Athens, a more likely future involves plenty of collaborative music making and exploration to keep their sonic edge from turning into formula indie. Drummer Mark Loftin and lead guitarist James Spadaro were formerly in Morning Spy before joining Seiken in Foxtail Somersault.. In the meantime, the authenticity of the new line-up is tasty and by knitting together an ever-changing collection of ambient pop influences, Foxtail Somersault can be doted on for their great quality timbral explorations. Newest vocal addition Becky Uline might be subjected to the band’s tight-knit years of playing together, but if there’s one thing that she also notices, it is the connection they share musically among themselves and with their audiences. The new line-up to her is a great opportunity to show how the band has evolved. While maintaining the original feel of the vocals found on previous EPs, she delivers the songs authentically, and encouraged by her connection with the band, stays true to her own style.
While they’ve shared the stage with Vibraphone label mates Astral, Tomihira, Halcyon High, and Vir, they’ve also enjoyed sharing the stage with The Rosebuds, Stripmall Architecture, Holly Miranda, and Menomena. Foxtail Somersault has played a sixth of their live shows with latest vocal addition Beth Anderson. They feel more chemistry than they have ever felt before. In the spirit of Oscar Wilde’s quote, “an inordinate passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young,” fans of Foxtail Somersault indulge in recapturing the youthful thirst for something new and often ask band members, “what do you call this style of music?” Interactions with fans always lead to a genuine nod to their creative innovative sound that digs into the pleasurable depths of sonic inventiveness. Vibraphone Records released the band’s follow-up EP, Reflection, this year, three years after releasing the band’s debut EP, Fathom.