Complete the lyric: "If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?/ If our love's insanity, ____?" Of course you know it, you can probably hear it playing in your head right now. Zedd's "Clarity" was one of the biggest tracks of 2013 (81 million YouTube views and counting) and most of America's introduction to Foxes, who sings the key stone vocals on the Grammy-winning track.
If "Clarity" were your only exposure to the UK songstress, you might get an impression of her that's only half-correct. Yes, the Southampton-bred singer can lay down staggeringly powerful lyrics, but no thumping club tracks aren't her thing.
Two years after the release of Warrior, her debut EP, and hot on the heels of her Grammy win for "Clarity," Foxes has put out Glorious, her first LP.
"It was a whirlwind of madness," Foxes explains by phone from London. "It's my first record and I had been writing up until now and it is my life up until now. It's quite mad to have it out there in the world."
Though it's built upon a pop framework--catchy hooks, instant earworm choruses--Glorious expands the scope of pop beyond its structural limitations. Most of the LP's tracks, starting with the opener "Talking to Ghosts," are epic, shockingly vast in atmosphere, and dramatic to near operatic levels. It is, true to its name, glorious.
"I chose 'Glorious' because I wanted a word, just one word, that wasn't too long and was just really strong and powerful," Foxes says. "[Glorious] was one of the last songs I wrote for the album. It sums up the journey that I went through with the album."
Lyrically, Glorious launches from standard pop fare into rarely explored territory. Foxes engages with genre staples like love and loss, but with a dark, gothic vocal and instrumental vocabulary. This, coupled with its aural expansiveness, imbues Glorious with a jubilant, yet dark tone that allows the album to transcend pop's normal generic confines.