Here at Four Foxes summer is in full swing. We’ve been getting a wonderful response to our website, and the submissions are trickling in every day. Thank you to all who have submitted, supported (through word and deed), and shared your enthusiasm for Four Foxes. Please keep it up, we want to reach as many people as possible in the central Maine area! We will be accepting submissions until next March, so there is plenty of time for you to get some work together and submit. If you are interested in helping with the magazine in any way, please email me: email@example.com. I would love to talk with you about it. I hope you are all going swimming, feeling sun on your bare skin, spending time with the people you love, and basking in the glory of August in Maine. Be well!
Shane Malcolm Billings, Four Foxes founding board member, librarian, and all around nicest guy you’ll ever meet, has spent some of his summer listening to music. His love of musicians and his commitment to cultivating a true appreciation for music have always inspired me. He was kind enough to guest blog some reviews for his top picks of the season.
by Shane Malcolm Billings
Lights Out by Ingrid Michaelson
Ingrid Michaelson scored new heights with her previous album, 2012’s Human Again. With Lights Out, released this past May, she has managed something even better! Michaelson’s music has always struck a balance between light quirkiness and serious contemplation, but with her recent music, she seems to have landed more firmly in the latter category. Opening track “Home” contains a front and center vocal performance that is simultaneously comforting and somber. Lead single “Girls Chase Boys” follows, and it’s virtually impossible not to sing along. In the album’s middle section, “Time Machine” busts out of the speakers like a force of nature, while the catchy “One Night Town,” a duet with Matt Nathanson, is an energetic burst of light, before the album settles into darker territory in its final third. “Stick,” a song in which Michaelson asks a former lover whether or not any part of her remains with him, is arguably the best song of her career to date. Ingrid’s voice shines throughout this cd.
Unrepentant Geraldines by Tori Amos
The release of a new CD by Tori Amos is always a huge deal for the fans who have followed her creative muse over the past two decades. Unrepentant Geraldines, her fourteenth full length studio album, came out in May to rave reviews. Tori hasn’t received such unanimous praise from the music critics since 2002’s Scarlet’s Walk. Unrepentant Geraldines finds the singer-songwriter in reflective mode, exorcising very different demons at 50 than she did at 30. It’s refreshing to see an artist accept a new phase in her life, and to legitimize it with beautiful songs, rather than try to pretend she is at the same place, perpetually stuck at 30 years old. Some of this album’s songs, including the mournful “Weatherman” and the multi-layered title track, rank among the finest of Amos’s career. What is astounding, even more than the always adept piano playing, is the pristine quality of her voice, and the high notes that she hits with seemingly no effort at all. Best moment: “Oysters,” an emotionally gripping ballad that sounds like it could have been on Under the Pink.