Exposing oneself can be an anxiety provoking or even a deeply traumatising aspect of life, especially when our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is called into question. Such turbulence in many facets of human existence seem to have been meticulously detailed in the brutal yet beautifully honest addition to Black Foxxes discography with their long awaited Self-Titled third album.
Although recent line-up changes due to the departure of two founding members Tristan Jane and Anthony Thornton have left long time fans curious about the future of the beloved Devon Alt Rockers, the final founding member and frontman Mark Holley isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. With the newly welcomed members Finn Mclean on drums and Jack Henley on bass announced the same day as their first single in two years; it set the tone for the entire record through Holley’s struggle with duality between animated displays of aggression, to the emotional depravity bubbling under the surface in ‘Badlands’.
As impressive as ‘Badlands’ was for a first single, the real shining stars rising above the rest on this brave explorative expansion to BF’s discography, lies in the hands of ‘I Am’, ‘Drug Holiday’ and ‘Swim’. ‘I Am’ delves into unconscious brokenness through Holley metaphorically speaking, talking from the viewpoint of a wounded animal, although it seems the main protagonist is ready to pounce as a last resort through the onslaught of emotional battery; there seems to be an odd shift with the tracks outro which suggests intensive de-escalation from what can be easily established as a mental breakdown. This strange comfort as the aftermath of such an outpouring is a welcomed tangent to the albums first track, but it does play as a poignant warning to those wishing to delve deeper into the records relatable yet devastating story arch.
‘Drug Holiday’ serves as the albums 3rd single off of Black Foxxes, which emulates a 'moment in the sun' mentality while constantly questioning whether they deserve to be in such a fragile state; with such an intriguing combination enticing you into Holley’s tortured mind, the familiar vibes of PJ Harvey‘s ‘Down By The River’ and Billie Eilish’s ‘Xanny’ make this elevated new step in Black Foxxes' musical experimentation rather startling yet extremely relatable and mellow in its overall flow.
Although it is only inferred, a deep yearning to run from the situation at hand as well as constant pleas of competency, could lead listeners to the conclusion that the voice of such emotional prowess and practical viability is stuck in a state of waning deniability in relation to their own debilitating mental state. While the majority of BF’s latest endeavour has focused heavily on mental health and Holley’s ongoing battle with Crohn’s disease, an unchartered shift amongst outpourings of emotional degradation announces itself in the form of the albums second single ‘Swim’; its hypnotic celestial tones as well as the freedom displayed in their genre bending persona lends itself quite magnificently as a emotional regulation track. Although it emulates some old school jazz sensibilities of Nina Simone’s iconic ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’, its personality is still firmly placed within Alt Indie tropes with an otherworldly charm that is immensely addictive.
Black Foxxes have truly outdone themselves on so many facets of this inherently raw yet intensively stimulating deep dive into one of the most important subject matters in the world right now. Their transcendent artistry and honest depictions of the lives they lead are not only touching yet deeply triggering... they’re also soul restoring. It is for these reasons, witnessing such an incredible feat in the face of such personal adversity that we are deeply honoured to have heard and experienced this chapter in the story of Black Foxxes.
Black Foxxes is released October 30th via Spinefarm Records