Neu Foxes: ‘It Feels A Bit Like A Dream!’

Jimmy Blake chats to Foxes about an unusual route to recognition, and not getting naked to write music.

Type the phrase ‘Foxes live’ into your selected browser and you’ll witness feeding time with a mangy vixen on a recent Channel 4 show. That’s just how singer songwriter Louisa Rose Allen likes it. Known to the blogosphere as Foxes, her brand of anthemic pop has taken a backwards approach to recognition with remixes and television soundtrack appearances taking precedent over a conveyor belt of press. However, a summer of festivals and the release of debut EP 'Warrior' is set to make her mess less elusive. Taking the time to reflect on her current position Louisa suggests; “It feels a bit like a dream!”

The 22 year old’s musically gifted alter ego escaped a beauty course in Southampton, got singed to Neon Gold records and featured on Gossip Girl with debut single 'Youth'. Some would see such acknowledgment as a direct route to world domination but Allen makes it out as a bonus. “There was and always is fear that making music wouldn’t work out. I never thought anything would ever come from it [music], so even if I was busking my whole life I'd still be content, there's nothing else I can do really...apart from being an astronaut, but I don't think I'd be very good at eating without gravity.”

With fears of eating dehydrated strawberries behind her, Foxes turned her humble attention to reigning in a soaring vocal, focused on the bright lights of city life and restraining her inner teen. “When I was writing the record, it was mostly soundtrack music that I was listening to. I watch a lot of films and the visuals really inspire me. My fourteen year-old self would be saying Eminem inspired the record, though, especially that rap at the end of 8 Mile, I still know it off by heart! The all felt like a growing up process, I took a lot from leaving things behind, starting a new life and I feel like this record feels like a beginning of something…”

The result reflects work of a seasoned professional and a maturity well beyond her years but a vulnerability weaves through a web of airy synth to suggest Foxes’ coming of age wasn’t as simple as her music implies. “I would like to say I do something exciting like getting naked and diving into a pool of mallards, but the truth is probably a bit duller than that,” she explains. “Lyrics seem to just fall out of me. I'll suddenly have these rare magic moments where this music just comes to me, and in between those moments I panic about not being to ever write songs again... It's a relief when the songs come back.” It would appear however, translating such moments to a live setting isn’t as miraculous. “It's hard work getting the live set together, but it's amazingly rewarding when the crowd are singing the words back at me.”

This difficulty could explain a relatively small hand full of shows, which have lead potential fans to find Foxes through cult classic remixes of 'Youth' and aforementioned television appearances. It’s a growth Allen is much more comfortable with. “I've always thought people should be able to discover music naturally,” she suggests. “I never like it when music is shoved in your face. It's a nicer way for people to find music.”

An unorthodox approach to success hasn’t been without a flurry of “flattering” comparisons including label mate Ellie Goulding. Clearly though, such recognition has had little affect on Foxes‘ selfless outlook as see explains there was no rush to get Warriors finished as certain tracks got noticed; “The songs on the EP have just been in waiting, I never expected 'Youth' to get any attention.” It appears ‘in waiting’ is Foxes’ ethos, just doing enough to cause a fuss but not too much to let any sort of ego develop.

With seemingly adequate levelheadedness to avoid a pretentious ‘finding myself’ ramble and just enough grammatical confusion over how a girl can become a group of animals, there’s room to excuse an embarrassingly predictable question. “Someone basically said it as a joke: 'You should call yourself Foxes'. The next day I told my Mum about it and she told me about a dream about foxes running down the street, howling and screaming, and how it reminded her of my music. Basically, Mums are always right.”

It seems Allen’ is poised to take control (with a bit of motherly guidance) of what lies ahead. “I'm at a nice stage where I've nearly finished my album - I'm going back into the lab now to make the finishing touches.” Modest groundings and an impending album combined with appearances at Dot To Dot and Secret Garden Party mean it might not be too long before a sighting of Foxes becomes more than just a rare sighting.

Foxes' new EP 'Warrior' will be released on 1st July via Neon Gold Records.


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