Louisa Rose Allen – better known by her stage name ‘Foxes’ – couldn’t have named her debut studio album more aptly. ‘Glorious’ does exactly what it says on the tin; in fact, I can’t get enough of the 44:57 minute entity. I’m a little bit jealous I didn’t write this whopper of a debut myself.
The album is clean cut, oozes a professional touch and boasts impressive, resonating vocal work throughout. If you flicked the radio on and heard the lead single ‘Youth’ for the first time I’d forgive you if you mistook it to be one of Lorde’s; the two women share the same strong, albeit often restrained vocal style. The whole thing flows effortlessly, allowing it to be listened to in its entirety without skipping a single track.
The perfect combination of shivering synths and Allen’s soporific voice give the album a haunting quality; matched by the continual reference to the intangible – ghosts, heaven, the devil that ‘sleeps in your head’. Choruses are a particular point of strength for Foxes. In ‘Echo’ there is some beautiful imagery ‘Running in a crypt / Of a thousand words’ as well as a confident, drawling vocal style reminiscent of Florence + the Machine. ‘Let Go For Tonight’ is a safe, catchy melody bedecked with clapping, building verses and a climactic chorus that wouldn’t be out of place on a running playlist. Other upbeat tracks include ‘The Unknown’, which is bound to get your head swaying as it’s got a blatant 80s vibe, as well as ‘Night Owls Early Birds’ which is full of pace throughout, despite its hypnotic quality.
The slower tracks warrant their spot on the album equally, though. The meeker, piano-based songs ‘Count the Saints’ and ‘Night Glo’ showcase the depth of emotion Allen is able to portray by the timbre of her voice alone; using rhetoric ‘And does it hurt you? / Do you feel when I try to touch? / Are you scared now?’ to address an unseen other, prompting us listeners to think about exactly who Foxes is singing to. She strikes me as a vivacious female that won’t take shit from anybody but the gentle tracks serve to highlight her fragility – and I love her a little bit more for achieving that.
In it’s entirety the album balances the bold and the meek in a manner that enables us to see the two sides to this talented female singer-songwriter. It’s cohesive, catchy and builds to a crescendo that makes it hard to believe this is the first album from Louisa Rose Allen. Sounding like she’s been around for years already, I can only hope she’ll stick around and give us many more records as glorious as this one is.