Short and sweet, one of Britain’s most promising prospects tease us with a taste of what’s to come.
Following the, somewhat sudden and unexpected, announcement of the Foxxes’ second full-length album on the 6th November, it wasn’t long until we were actually treated to some new music. The album’s title also proved to be quite a curveball – reiði translates to ‘anger’ from Icelandic and it appears the album’s tracklist will follow suit with brand new single, Sæla (‘bliss’), juxtaposing emotions from the off.
The track itself wastes little time in kicking off. A syncopated crash from every timbre at play launches us into a measured yet decidedly paced chord progression, it sounds fantastically rich thanks to the employment of both a strummed acoustic guitar and the slightly distorted electric that riffs atop of its hushed counterpart. The distortion ceases to make way for frontman Mark Holley’s vocals which are, quite possibly, the most pivotal element to Black Foxxes’ overall sound. The vocal performance here is entirely unique, it seems to dance seamlessly between falsetto and the singer’s mid-range. In addition to this, Holley’s voice is simply one of a kind as a result of the peculiar quaver that appears to quiver on the tail end of every note that bounces off of his pipes. It’s an attribute that has the potential to be divisive; for me, it offers an identity that instantly sets this band apart from the crowd, an accolade that the majority of artists fail to boast nowadays.
The chorus is such a pleasurable listen for a number of reasons. Primarily, the verse effortlessly bleeds into this section with the same chord progression that appears to carry throughout the whole song – whilst some might argue this repetition as being lazy, I don’t believe that to be the case here simply due to the fact that there is sufficient variance superimposed above this base pattern that it essentially just serves as a vehicle for a formidable flow to carry from start to finish. The rhythm section is largely to thank for this maintenance of tempo – both Tristan Jane and Ant Thornton are extremely professional in their roles – no bells and whistles are necessary here and the bass and percussion complement this track perfectly. Towards the conclusion of the track, the distortion kicks back in to raise the dynamic for one final hurrah and “my bones will take you there” echoes true until the song culminates in a perfect cadence.
Sæla is what it says on the tin – bliss. As is always the case with a first single, it is difficult to truly discern or predict the general direction in which the band are headed with their next record and particularly so is the case here. With a runtime of just under 3 minutes, the track is not much to go by at all, however, their outstanding debut album (I’m Not Well) demonstrated such a wealth of diversity that I’m sure we can expect much of the same for reiði. This is by far one of my most anticipated albums of 2018 and I absolutely urge you to get behind this band.