How Big How Blue How Beautiful
Southampton's Louisa Rose Allen has had to wait to make her debut, but it's all been worth it.
Glorious was originally scheduled to come out at the start of the year when the foundations weren't so firm. Foxes has now got hits under her belt - coming off the back of collaborative smashes with Rudimental and Zedd - and looks ready to make a splash. Glorious certainly has the weight to do so.
It's a big dramatic pop album (think Florence, think Marina) that does intriguing things with rave dynamics, incorporating the kind of dancefloor rush that peppers every Swedish House Mafia record but spicing it up with organic, tumbling drums and rolling piano. It fizzes with ideas, and Foxes has the personality and voice to carry them.
Current single Holding Onto Heaven is an exemplar, with its delirious Italo house piano and swirling strings. It's got rock heft, but Foxes comes on like John Newman's female counterpoint, a white soul voice comfortable in any setting. She can do soft too, as a kindergarten Kate Bush on Night Glo, and is almost rapping on the thrilling Echo where breakbeats and rising strings recall Massive Attack's classic Unfinished Sympathy.
Whatever the references, Foxes keeps her own identity, imbuing her songs with feeling and shaping a debut that never flags. Only closing ballad Count The Saints threatens to be workaday, but then steel drums and swelling strings arrive and it's another flash of inspiration. Keep coming up with those and she'll make waves.