Foxygen drummer Shaun Fleming is no stranger to turn-of-the-century influencers; he’s spent the better part of 2013 channeling greats like John Densmore, Ringo Starr, and Charlie Watts to help bring Foxygen’s We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic to life. On My Friend Fish, Fleming’s full-length debut as Diane Coffee, the New York-by-way-of-SoCal twentysomething continues his exploration of old-school sounds, mixing and mashing everything from bedroom-eyes R&B (“All the Young Girls”) to glammy rock-outs (“That Stupid Girl Who Runs a Lot”). What we end up with is a bombastic record that manages to reimagine sock-hop doo-wop (“Green,” “When It’s Known”) just as easily as it explores Baptist gospel euphoria (“Hymn”). Disjointed as it can feel at times, Fish successfully gets one point across loud and clear: Fleming’s voice is a force to be reckoned with. That he spent his younger years dabbling in voice-over work seems to be worth mentioning here, as Fleming switches vocal gears like most of us change shoes. What’s more impressive: They all seem to fit perfectly.
My Friend Fish