Anyone who’s anyone wouldn’t necessarily think that potent indie-creatives Black Foxxes operated solely from one main man.
But you sir, would be silly to assume such a fallacy…
Shedding his creative layers one, well… layer at a time, Bristolian singer-songwriter Mark Holley has been carving out a very big imprint in the world of alternative rock. Originally grinding it on his own – with the odd companion to give it the thumbs up during the production process – for the first two albums, Holley has since staggered into the folds of creating more cohesive works with a brand new rhythm section made up of both old friends and new for album number 3.
Since the delights of three-parter I’m Not Well, Husk and Whatever Lets You Cope first burst out in 2016, Black Foxxes have garnered an established following that respects the sheer emotive power that his debut album portrayed. The album is a significant wake-up call touching on points about the importance of mental health and being acutely aware how it is fine to not be fine.
Whilst his mental health was taking an immediate nose-dive at the time, Holley thought it be best to take a trip to Iceland. To Holley’s surprise, the inane weather conditions and barren wonderments that Iceland offered brought about progress every time he visited – both mentally and creatively from a writing perspective.
“It felt like there was a mutual relationship between me and that place because I overcame a lot out there. I wrote plenty of music when I went to Iceland the second time, and our new record reflects that.”
With the Icelandic outings, bought inspiration. Not just on the writing side of things – – but literally bringing the album together somewhat as a concept piece. You may have guessed, but the album revolves around this “reiði,” reflecting the opposing concepts of light and dark: of which both concepts are portrayed during the first and second parts of the album.
[To break it down further, reiði means rage in Icelandic. This is compared to the sæla which literally means happiness – and is slotted in the first part of the album.]
It not only personifies a thirst for adventure within the synaptic pop melodies and alternative darkness of hard-edged rock – but is somewhat a journey about the writer himself. The shifting between constantly fighting with anxiety and letting go has been featured around many a time on a Foxxes album, but Reiði is perhaps the most poignant with this idea.
Although the album is not earmarked with explosive stand-alone singles like I’m Not Well did, Reiði is a richly-deserved album. As this feeling of ethereal rage darts back and forth between one track to another, almost as if we’re being taking one a literal journey of this writer working things out within himself, this is certainly best served in one full listen.
Not falling stagnant in the slightest throughout its 40-minute runtime, Reiði is such a treat to listen to.
This is Foxxes stripped back baring all.