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Louisa Rose Allen, also known as Foxes, may be a newcomer to the London music scene but, thanks to the blogosphere, she is finding her place Stateside among pretty twentysomething electro-pop singer-songwriters. Allen, 22, who was not yet performing under the name Foxes, sparked interest in late 2009 after dropping out of college and playing a series of acoustic shows.
“There’s an anthemic side of the music,” she says, explaining the draw of her work. “I’m a massive fan of when music has a moment where you can completely let go and it feels really big and exciting.”
This story first appeared in the June 20, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Last fall Allen decided it was time for a change, and because her name is similar to another London-based songster — Lily (Rose) Allen — a switch seemed sensible.
“I think it felt like the music had progressed and I needed a name that sort of summed up the way the music was going,” she says.
She went with Foxes, based off the title of one of the first songs she wrote as a teen, but not without the approval of her mother. “I spoke with my mum on the phone and said, ‘What do you think about Foxes?’ And she was like, ‘Wow, I had this dream last night, loads of foxes were running up our street and they sounded really haunting and beautiful and it really reminded me of your music, you should be Foxes,’” the Southampton, England, native explains. “I thought yeah, mum’s always right.”
Under her new moniker, Allen released her debut EP, “Youth,” in January, which featured the title single with the B-side “Home,” through New York- and London-based label Neon Gold Records. That same month Allen was pleased to receive a tweet of endorsement from Dianna Agron of “Glee.” A few Twitter exchanges with the actress later and Allen’s fan base multiplied. By February she was signed to Sign of the Times, an imprint formed through Sony Music UK and Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment. Allen has been steadily ascending ever since. “Youth” and “Home” were featured separately on two episodes of “Gossip Girl” in April and she’s been preparing for the release of her first full-length EP “Warrior,” due out in the U.K. on July 9 and the U.S. on July 10, which coincides with her first U.S. tour. In readying for the Stateside outing, Allen has come a long way from her days of solo gigs.
“Before it was just me and the guitar,” she says. She’s happy to now have a touring band intact — Sam Kennedy on keys and Josh Deal on drums.
Although she grew up listening to artists lik Björk and Spice Girls, Allen says she really finds her musical influence in film soundtracks. “I love how soundtracks can portray a feeling without having any lyrics,” she says. “How they tell a story in the film, I think that’s really clever.”
And since music goes hand-in-hand with fashion, she hopes to familiarize herself with the latter.
“I’ve always been a bit broke because of music so I think I’ve never been able to have a favorite designer, I wish I had,” says Allen. The self-described “Converse girl” mostly shops in charity and vintage shops and gravitates toward a “hippie style.”
Designer duds or not, an accessory can usually make an outfit. Like a true Brit, she’s recently been experimenting with hats and has become fond of a bowler style.
“I think it’s in the safe realm of hats, they can get a bit crazy at times,” she says. “I might expand my hat wearing but I’m not sure yet, it would have to be a really good hat.”