Best of 2023: Foyer Red Got Really Into Trumpets This Year

Elana Riordan talks En Attendant Ana and The Particles.

This year reminded me how much I love trumpets. The first time I heard En Attendant Ana’s Principia was this summer while I was in Italy. Marco (who plays drums in Foyer Red and is my long-term partner) and I were driving around the mountainous countryside. Those drives were so beautiful, always kind of unexpected, and purely fun because of how windy the roads were, how fast everyone drives in Italy, and also partly because Marco was still learning how to read the road signs. And Principia was like that, too. Objectively gorgeous songs with indie jazzy-pop sensibilities and unexpected twists and turns. Immediate earworms galore. We’ve since listened to it probably almost a dozen times as a band while on the road and, coincidentally, we were asked to join a bill with them (so awesome!) but the venue vetoed a four band bill (sad). Beyond the immediate catchiness and accessibility of the melodies, these songs are so masterfully arranged and dynamic. “Wonder” begins so delicately and then jumps into a completely new groove without hesitation as Margaux Bouchaudon repeats the same haunting phrases, the instrumentation gradually building into a funky and poppy explosion of sound. The cherry on top of the album for me is the sax and trumpet, but especially the trumpet. Effortlessly gliding into its own pockets, it evokes the sensation of water reaching the tippy top of your head. It’s powerful, a little bit melancholy, and sooooo decadent. It makes me want to cry and sing at the same time. 

The Particles’ “Trumpet Song” is another reminder that I love trumpets, but with a completely different voice. Hitched by an upbeat, irresistible groove and vocals, the trumpet starts off as a player behind the scenes and quickly becomes the cincher of the song. It is confident and decidedly handsome, like a stallion climbing the steps of a European palace. It’s the kind of trumpet that might pull you in by the waist only to spin you away moments later (and leave you breathless). Not a new song to the world, but a new song to my ears thanks to Chapter Music’s reissue of the 1980’s Bubblegum compilation and Ian of Silicone Prairie for posting about it!

I am by design a woodwind lover. I don’t play guitar, which lends to my imposter syndrome as the frontperson of a band and I am always telling myself I’ll learn eventually… and then I learned how to play the flute instead. So, here’s looking at trumpet as I “try to learn some guitar.” 

Foyer Red is a Brooklyn-based rock band. Their latest album Yarn the Hours Away is out now via Carpark Records.