- Words Aimee Phillips
- Photography Luka Mcghie
Foxes is back and she's proving to be as brilliant as ever. After three years off, we spoke about the exciting new chapter of her life that's beckoning.
Foxes has had quite the journey. Kicking off in 2012 with the massive Zedd collab “Clarity”, a year later, Foxes’ debut solo release “Youth” was a bubbling dance-pop number that spawned a number of remixes. In the following years, Foxes (otherwise known as Louisa Rose Allen) continued to build momentum with dazzling singles “Let Go For Tonight” and “Holding On To Heaven” which, thanks to her unique vocal style and jubilant melodies, led to even more dance remixes. From there, Foxes shared two albums, ‘Glorious’ in 2014 and ‘All I Need’ in 2016, the latter of which is still one of my favourite pop albums to this day. But, seemingly riding on a high, Foxes decided to take a three years hiatus to focus on herself. After a long term relationship came to an end, “I started to focus on trying to find independence and started to realise the importance of relying on myself for happiness ultimately,” she tells Notion.
Intoxicating melodies with exuberant choruses may be what Foxes is best known for; the kind of songs that you belt out at the top of your lungs as you throw yourself around the room, but much of her staying power is rooted in her adaptability. From the delicate “Night Glo” to the tender “On My Way”, the throughline that connects Foxes’ music together is the undeniable amount of emotion her voice carries on each song.
Luckily for us, Foxes is steadily releasing tracks from an upcoming full-length project. Filled with poignant lyrics and Foxes’ breath-taking, instantly recognisable vocals, it’s clear that she’s taking a different path. “I feel I want to speak up now about more challenging subjects that feel real to me in my music,” she told us.
On the stripped-back, emotional piano ballad “Woman”, it’s just Foxes and the keys. Written to empower other women to stand up to injustice, “Woman” was the second single Foxes released, following comeback single “Love Not Loving You”, a punchy, poppy 80s number.
Her latest track, “Friends In The Corner” is a euphoric, dancing with tears-in-your-eyes number. Listening to it, you can just picture yourself twirling around your bedroom or jumping around with your friends, arms threaded across each others’ shoulders.
We spoke to Foxes about her new era of music – the things she learned along the way and her hopes and dreams for the future.
What have the past few months taught you?
It’s taught me that not everything is final and not always as it seems and that things do pass. It’s also taught me to look out for people, and check in on your friends or anyone you think might be struggling. I also feel very strongly, after the world so suddenly and drastically changed, that there’s no point in doing something you don’t love or enjoy because time is so precious. It’s also taught me that I can’t cook, and I need to delete my Deliveroo account.
You took a 3-year hiatus and are returning with a set of empowering songs about womanhood. Which experiences, relationships and people have been influential in shaping the new material?
After a long relationship, that in the end didn’t work out, I started to focus on trying to find independence and started to realise the importance of relying on myself for happiness ultimately. I have a very different outlook on relationships now and when I look back I try to see the good things, which I think rings true to what I write about as it’s nice to not hold any grudges. I felt quite strongly that the Women around me were teaching me emotional and intuitive ways of dealing with things too. I have a song called Kathleen that’s dedicated to my Grandma. Growing up she would surround me with books and stories about life and how to get through some of the toughest things. I sat down with her after a breakup recently and she gave me some of the most solid advice about how to deal with it. I recorded everything she said and went into the studio the next day, the song is a conversation between us – and it feels like an ode to her and her wise words. In general, though I feel like coming back to music is all about a new chapter in my life and covers a lot of that process.
What did you learn about yourself in your time away?
I’ve learnt that no matter where you go, you still take the same problems with you until you learn from them.
Since your first release in 2012, how do you think you’ve changed as an artist, both sonically and personally?
I feel I want to speak up now about more challenging subjects that feel real to me in my music. Over the years I’ve let go of the need to stay in a lane that could potentially give me more success but make me less happy as a result. I feel that by letting this go – I have actually given myself more freedom not only in my mind about what success and failure actually is, but also creatively. I was very young when I started out in music, I had a wild imagination but maybe not the confidence to go with it. I wouldn’t say I have all the confidence in the world now but it’s a process and I’m slowly getting more capable of expressing that personally. The music feels bolder and a little less safe and more on the experimental side.
Your latest track “Friends In The Corner”. What do you hope people will take away from the track when they listen to it?
The song talks about vulnerability and the realisation that sometimes life isn’t always easy to deal with on your own. I hope people feel like they’re not alone in feeling unsure, scared or vulnerable at any time in their life and that asking for help isn’t a weakness. I’m kind of yelling that out in the chorus and asking if any of my friends need someone, I also hope people can feel uplifted by it at the same time though.
What has your creative process been like in this new era of Foxes?
A whirlpool of emotions, lots of tears – loads of laughing and a few panic attacks.
If you could, what would you change about being a woman in the music industry?
This one’s really hard to answer because I feel like if you want to see change, you need to try and change yourself. I’ve surrounded myself with as much female energy this time around which has been amazing. There are lots I think needs to change in this industry one of these things is more emotional support not just for women but for everyone in the industry. Especially those signed to major labels, who will be thrust into the limelight pretty rapidly and up for scrutiny at times, with no warning or help to deal with it. It would be amazing if labels provided therapists to help navigate young artists through their experiences.
Where’s your happy place?
In Italy surrounded by pasta.
Do you remember the song or record that made you first fall in love with music?
Joni Mitchell – Case of You.
What are your hopes for the future of Foxes?
To keep creating music that feels real to me, learning as much as I can musically and starting to produce more myself. I’m also really looking forward to playing live music again, hopefully, the festivals will be happening next year!