By Oliver Butler (@notoliverbutler)
Black Foxxes are one of Britain’s brightest musical prospects. The West Country power trio are a noisy mix of heavy grunge, hard rock & light indie, with their debut album, I’m Not Well being an incredible body of work. It’s been an exciting year for them, with a handful festival appearances, a headline UK tour & a slot supporting Deaf Havana. However, seconds out, round two; how does a band like that follow up a hot debut?
Step forward Sæla, their brand new single and the answer to this question. Icelandic for ‘Blessed‘, the song has a real positive feel to it right from the first chord. Wondering why a West Country band are writing in Icelandic? Singer & guitarist Mark Holley wrote most of the album out there and is already getting ready to write album number three. Time off? What time off? There’s no rest for the wicked, and to borrow a phrase from the early 2000s, Black Foxxes are well wicked.
This is actually quite a dancey tune, something you can easily bop to, with the intro & chorus riff having a real uplifting & bouncy feel to it. The lyrics are pretty uplifting as well, compared to some of the lyrical themes on I’m Not Well, which had a darker vibe to it. However, seeing as the album that this single supports is called Reiði, which is Icelandic for ‘Rage‘, only a fool would assume that this album is going to be all sunshine and rainbows.
But Sæla is just a really nice track. It’s a happy little track at just under three minutes but doesn’t leave you feeling underwhelmed. It’s just right, like a well-cooked steak or a bath that’s the right temperature. Just enough to brighten your day, like a nice cup of tea. Mark Holley’s voice is fantastic on this, the way it can go from a soothing voice to a roar is sublime. The heavy ending to this song is brilliant too and really picks up the pace.
Whilst only offering a small glimpse into what Reiði is going to offer, Sæla is a very promising sign, and if the rest of the album is of this quality, Black Foxxes‘ star will only continue to rise.