Indie-pop newcomer Louisa Rose Allen, aka Foxes, reveals her secret weapon on her first official EP, Warrior. With a voice that is sweet enough to charm but fiery enough to scorch the competition, the Southampton native stands out among the heaps of 20-something British songstresses. An album full of contagious anthems with prevailing choruses, Warrior captivates, stuns and satisfies.
The opening track, “Warrior,” starts off soft but builds until it explodes. The track is driven by percussion, and Allen’s rich voice just floats over instrumentals. Working the crescendos and decrescendos, the song’s carefully controlled dynamics are the moving forces behind its overwhelming emotion. When Allen croons, “And I’ll fight, I’ll fight, I’ll fight, I’ll fight,” you believe her. Her vigorous vocals soar on the live version of “Warrior” included on the five-piece offering. Stripped of the thrumming percussion, it’s just her, a piano and some backup vocals, and the track is at its best. Raw, real and still radiant, Allen doesn’t need all of the production and layers of instrumentals heard on most of the other tracks to shine.
Trailing you along for that terribly catchy chorus, “White Coats” is a dream-like pop hit that really moves. The sweeping synths, popping percussion and energetic snaps on the song all contribute to its light and fluffy feel. When the track is at its heaviest, its dramatic pauses and instrumental breakdowns immediately release the natural tension.
Foxes breaks the trend of feel-good tracks with “In Her Arms.” The song’s pulsing synths, ominous percussion and lyrics about desire and heartbreak give the track a darker feel than what we previously heard. Flirting with African rhythms and melodies, it’s definitely the standout track on Warriors.
From her wails and cries to soft whispers, the power-ballad “Let Go For Tonight” displays Allen’s insane vocal range. She lets her voice take the lead in a very Florence Welch manner. As she croons, “Let it go for tonight baby,” with as much gusto as she can muster, you know she is in complete control.