Now that San Diego Comic Con has ended, I can take a breath and get back on form. (Well, almost… once the summer installment of NaNoWrMo wraps up, I’ll be 100% back).
This week’s installment of Musicians You Probably Aren’t Listening To focuses on a singer-songwriter who is relatively new to the music scene. Laurence Fox is probably best known to readers through his lengthy acting career. The English actor (and product of the Fox family acting dynasty) has been working steadily on television since the early 2000’s. His most prominent role (for those reading this Stateside, at least) is his 13 year run as DS James Hathaway in the long-running police procedural, and Inspector Morse spin-off Lewis (or Inspector Lewis for those in the United States, catching the show on PBS).
In February of this year, Fox released his debut album “Holding Patterns” through a variety of sources, Amazon.com and iTunes included (Squee!). The album serves as a follow-up to his 2013 EP Sorry for My Words.
Most repeat readers will know, I tend to skew towards the (occasionally) unbearably poppy. Fox’s work proves to be an exception to this rule. His sound is incredibly acoustic, with most of his songs being made up purely of an acoustic guitar and Fox’s vocals. A special few songs, (like “Go Hard Go Hungry”) incorporate percussion and backing vocals. However, this is a rarity. An overly simplistic breakdown is that this is coffee shop music… independent coffee shop music. Here’s a visual, a man sitting alone on a stage in an indie coffee shop. It’s all mellow cigarette smoke and acoustic guitar. The sound you have in your mind with that visual probably isn’t far off.
I find myself bowing to Fox’s skills as a songwriter. From everything I’ve been able to discover, he’s the primary writer on his songs. His lyrics are complex, internal snippets. Songs like “Holding Pattern” and “Rise Again” stand out as particularly stong entries in an already powerful album. Rather than narratives, the songs seem to come straight from the songwriter’s soul, holding onto a particularly memorable (either pleasantly, or tragically so). These are not fluffy pop songs with throw-away lyrics, and the crafting of the song contributes to the sound. While I’ve yet to read much behind his music, Laurence Fox’s song sound like they come from a very emotional place.
Interested in hearing more? Check out his Vevo on Youtube. At the moment, it’s small, but gives a nice cross-section of his work. Do your tastes skew a bit indie? Do you prefer a more raw and naturally acoustic sound? Check out Fox’s work on YouTube, and expand from there. You won’t be sorry.