True Foxes “Howl”

Independent, 2024

Artwork for True Foxes album "Howl"

A promising debut album from Cornish cousins.

Artwork for True Foxes album "Howl"There’s something about family harmonies. The way that the voices fit so seamlessly together, almost creating an extra voice; think siblings such as the Secret Sisters or Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer. Tight family harmonies characterise True Foxes’ signature sound, however in this case we’re talking cousins, not siblings. True Foxes is a female duo, hailing from West Cornwall; the members are Amie Parsons, who sings, plays guitar, ukulele, banjo and piano, and Chloë Payne, who contributes vocal harmonies and plays acoustic bass. The duo’s music is described as pop/folk and their influences range from Bruce Springsteen, First Aid Kit and Brandi Carlile, to Mumford and Sons and John Martyn, with a nod to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

Howl‘ is the duo’s debut album, it follows a number of years of extensive touring, mainly across England’s southwest, working hard to build up a following, while their EP ‘Sunny’ (2022) and recent singles ‘17′ and ‘How Are You Now?’ have received regular airplay on radio stations across the UK, Europe, and the United States.

The family link extends further, with Payne’s brother (and therefore Parsons’ cousin), Bo playing drums and electric guitar on the LP, which was recorded at Cube Studios, in Truro, Cornwall. Other musical contributions include Danny Hart (fiddle and banjo), and Sam Garrard (fingerpicked banjo). There are 11 self-penned songs here and overall the songs have catchy melodies and strong musical  arrangements, while the duo’s signature sound is striking; however there are points where the listener may prefer a little more variety in the vocal sound.

Intense opener ‘Devil’s Calling‘ has a dark side; in addition to the harmony vocals the song is very melodic, driven by rhythmic percussion and with prominent fiddle. Someone has clearly met their comeuppance “He wouldn’t stop his laughing“, “The shining of my knife end” and “If you go down to the woods today You might just find his resting place The ending of his laughing“. Next up is ‘Follow the Leader‘ this has an energy to it, with the banjo the lead instrument, while single ‘17‘ is another up tempo number.

Higher‘ has a cajun feel to it with banjos to the fore, it has a very catchy chorus, while ‘Other Girl‘ has a great bass line that drives the song; it’s a tale told from the perspective of the other woman (or girl) “but I’m just the other girl, there’s sympathy for her, I’m getting all tangled up in the roots that you grew, but I knew I’ve got better things to do.”  ‘Leave The Light On‘ is slower featuring acoustic guitar and piano, while the record closes with the song ‘Howl‘ which is another slower offering, with bass guitar again featuring. The chorus has Payne and Parsons gently ‘howling’ at the moon. Standout track on the album is ‘How Are You Now?‘ with its slow introduction featuring Parsons’ banjo and fiddle played by Annie Baylis-Gray. The song focuses on moments of aimlessness, with the opening lines “I’m floating around in the air, I wonder what it looks like down there” but ultimately culminating in a sense of rediscovery and stability “How are you now? Now that you have found your way“.

The singing and playing are very good, and the songs are well-written. As a debut offering, this is not a bad record at all and, if you like folk with a pop tinge to it, this may be for you.


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments