I don’t know if it was the lazy Texas sunset keeping me company, starting to feel the beautiful monotonous rhythm of feeling settled in a new city, or the overall, universal weighted feeling of being on the precipice of slowly crawling out of this pandemic, but I felt instantly emotional as soon as I turned on Friends In The Corner, the latest EP from Foxes.
Sitting pretty at #3 on Zedd’s most streamed collaborations, Louisa Rose Allen (aka Foxes) rose to fame in the UK at just 19. However, I know her as the artist behind the song I couldn’t listen to loud enough in 2020. Just like how Dua Lipa and Conan Gray helped me feel like life was moving forward during quarantine, “Love Not Loving You” not only moved me forward, but made me blissfully ignorant of reality.
Which is ironic that when I listened to this project for the first time in its entirety that the opener would bring that reality into sharp focus. Maybe that’s why I love Friends In The Corner so much and the ongoing trend of carefree pop production coupled with raw vulnerability. These kinds of artists — the Sigrids, the LÉONs, the band MUNA — they simultaneously help the listener forget the parts of reality that deserve to be forgotten and brings into focus the beautiful facets you might’ve forgotten to gift attention to.
“Friends In The Corner” feels timely and timeless. It reminds me of the feeling I get when I listen to Bleachers’ “Everybody Lost Somebody” — that inexplicable sense of unity at the essence of humanity. “Kathleen” has that trudging beat that reflects how the simple act of moving forward can feel. “Just go, be slow and you’ll figure it out. Head low, you’ll know how to turn it around.”
To be eloquent, “Love Not Loving You” remains a certified BOP with an empowering, incredibly catchy and clever hook. “Hollywood” feels like a metaphor and a bitter reality of dreams literally shutting down. She closes the EP with a stripped-down, live rendition of “Kathleen” — one of the strongest songs of the release — and this acoustic version really showcases her vocal prowess.
You can feel Allen trusting herself and her artistry in Friends In The Corner. Helping us stay both ignorant and present, Friends In The Corner is a beautiful representation of her comeback and our current moment.