Socialite is the new album by indie rock outfit Foot Shooter. The band is based in Memphis, Tennessee, and consists of, in the group’s own words, “passionate singing/songwriting by Shane Ellis, multi instrumentals by Zach Loomis, stomping drums by Seth Loomis, acoustic strumming by Chris Jensen and Jesse Loomis who plays the bass.” The album is a combination of some of the latest sonic trends on the indie scene, some interesting not-quite-soul and blues guitar with some electronic flourishes.
The album opens with the track “What is This,” which drew me in quickly with its muted, soulful introductory section; the compression on the vocals, sweet and resonant guitars, and looped drums are intoxicating, recalling the bright but restrained “Everlasting Light” by The Black Keys. This song became slightly less interesting to me once the second half opened up to a more straightforward indie sound, but the soundscape remained unique (and with pristine production!), so I was excited to hear more from the band.
Next up is “Diluted,” which I found less entertaining and detailed, but probably the most radio-friendly tune on the album, and it still retained the unique production elements that initially piqued my interest. My ear specifically trained onto the subtle effects placed on the vocals, and the subtle keys hanging in the background of the chorus. Frankly, despite the song’s radio-friendliness, I would still rather hear Foot Shooter on a pop or alt-rock station over a lot of what’s played there. I simply love the singer’s voice and the tone of their guitars across the album.
Socialite takes an interesting turn on “Pairing Up Happens,” trading up-beat bombastic instrumentation and charismatic vocals for some more atmosphere and interesting low-register harmonies. The horn section that appears about halfway through the piece is beautiful, reminding the listener of the bygone days when a pop group like The Beach Boys, The Beatles or The Zombies could incorporate classical musicality and no one would bat an eye. It’s a beautiful highlight on the album overall.
“Fool’s Gold” serves as a sort of bridge between the two disparate styles Foot Shooter has demonstrated so far, serving up another slower, more barebones tune that also includes the more rock vocals consistent with “Diluted.” The song also has my favorite chorus on the album, which seemingly launches straight out of the ‘90s alternative scene in the best possible way. The song contains some interesting vocal rhythms as well. “Stomp On” is probably the most varied tune on the album, containing some neat backing vocals and horns with a slightly more bluesy feel, while “Rumble. Jumble. Sound.” is a great and ominous finish to the album, bathed in reverb and atmosphere, reminding me, oddly, of For Emma, Forever Ago in production.
With Socialite, Foot Shooter combines indie pop with gorgeous mixing, sliding effortlessly between a few different sub-genres, adding a “-soul,” “-blues,” or “-rock” to their “indie” label whenever necessary.
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