Louisa Rose Allen, who records music under the perfectly whimsical-sounding moniker Foxes, is readying her first full-length album following two excellent EPs. Most recently was Warrior, which saw the London native belting gorgeous pop tunes that should impress fans of artists ranging from Charli XCX to Florence + the Machine, and has already stolen the heart of the British press.
Along with emotional tracks like "White Coats" and "Let It Go For Tonight," Foxes brings a (literally) wide-eyed beauty and sense of personal style to her music and videos. We talked with Foxes about how she started singing, the experience of hearing her music on Gossip Girl, and where she gets her fashion sense (as it turns out she has an unfair advantage: Her mum is the owner of a vintage shop).
Make up and hair by Sonia Bhogal
Styled by Karen Clarkson from The Book Agency; Photographed by Kate Cox
Urban pioneer woman. Louisa wears her own vintage T-shirt, a Topshop Unique pinafore dress, and Dr. Martens boots.
How did you realize you wanted to be a musician?
"I think everyone around me knew I was going to be a singer from a young age. I was always the annoying child at family gatherings that insisted everyone listen to me sing Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On,' standing amongst the Christmas turkey on the dinner table. Luckily, I stopped being so annoying as I grew up though. [I] started to write diaries — mostly poems — about boys with floppy hair and Eminem lyrics. Luckily, I grew out of that and started to write my own."
The Xs marks the spot.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
"If Tim Burton wrote a song for Eurovision."
A fox in a tiger-print Mulberry sweater.
How long have you been making music for, and how did Foxes come together?
"I started taking it seriously about two years ago. It was all very different then, as I didn't know what i wanted to be and didn't really have a vision yet. I started off writing little stories about other people's lives. The first song i ever wrote was called 'Like Foxes Do.' It was about how foxes only ever have one person they mate with for there whole lives! It was a bit like me being in my toddler stage of songwriting. The name Foxes came about as a bit of a joke, as one of my friends said I should be called it. I laughed it off, thinking it was a ridiculous name!"
Louisa wears a Zoe Jordan sweater and a Topshop Unique leather slit skirt.
"The next day, I spoke to my mum on the phone, and she told me about a dream she'd had the night before. It involved foxes running up our road, and she said they were making a really haunting, beautiful sound. And it reminded her of my music! I figured mums tend to be right about most things, so after that I just went with it."
How did you come up with concept for the "White Coats" video? Who made that great balloon?
"I worked with Flora Hanitijo, the same girl I did the 'Home' video with. She's very wise and very talented. She has a lovely way of making the ordinary beautiful. With 'White Coats,' I wanted it to be a very natural video like 'Home' but also wanted a message to go with it. We tend to just meet up and capture something pretty natural. The idea sort of came about as we went along. I leave lots of random things across London on my way to the beach, and then I let go of the lanterns, which are suppose to symbolize letting go of your baggage and feeling free. It looked like I did a lot of walking to get there though."
"I love that you've called it a great balloon! They were lanterns we set off just about everywhere in and around London. If you could've seen the behind the scenes of us trying to get these things to fly off and not catch fire to trees and even people on the way up! It was hilarious, but luckily we managed it. You can see how relieved I am when we finally got the take. I'm jumping for joy on the beach!"
Louisa's collection of pretty rings.
Topshop Unique corset dress, vintage plaid shirt.
How would you describe your personal style?
"I'm a bit of a hippie at heart. My mum used to take me to festivals when I was really young, so I got used to being barefoot and having fairy wings on my back. I don't wear the fairy wings now, though! I like easy outfits — so something I can jump around in. I pretty much live in converse and vintage dresses. My mum now owns a vintage stall, so I top up on vintage dresses from her every now and again, which is handy!"
Doodling and writing.
What was it like hearing your music on Gossip Girl? Are you a fan of the show?
I'm a huge fan, I actually watched it religiously. So, when I was told my songs were gonna be on it, I freaked out! It didn't feel real even when I watched it. I kept going, 'Can someone turn me off in the background?!' The oddest thing was that once I realized my song had been on it the show felt too real. I couldn't really get into Chuck confessing his undying love with 'Youth' in the background as it made me realize they were just acting!"
Here's some high-low for ya...Louisa wears a vintage T-shirt with a Mulberry skirt and Linda Farrow specs.
If you only had to choose one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
"I can't choose an outfit on a daily basis, so this is like asking me for the meaning of life!"
What are you working on now, after finishing your Warrior EP?
"Well, the album is pretty much written. I'm just going back into the lab to finish it all off now. It's the last two years of my life in song, so it's really strange looking back at it all and making it into an album. Very therapeutic but also crazy because I never thought I'd be making an album. It's a dream, really!"
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
"The karaoke version of Eminem, 'Lose yourself'."