We make no secret of our admiration and appreciation of Fox Food Records. In a music world saturated with new artists and governed by marketing and hype, the label has quietly and consistently helped an array of talented people find an audience, showing that humble hard work and community are as valuable as ever in this digital age.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of Fox Food Records, and to celebrate James Smith has gathered a large number of the label’s artists for a special compilation, Something’s There But You’re Not Sure What. Essentially a who’s who of the Fox Food roster, the release represents a celebration of what truly independent labels can offer—a diverse group of people from all over the world linked not by a specific sound and style but rather the spirit within.
Opening with an acoustic version of Oh Rose‘s ‘Prom’, Something’s There But You’re Not Sure What features a whole host of our favourites. Nice Legs stop by with another slice of delightfully warm fuzz pop, Spartan Jet-Plex provides an alternate take on single ‘Meant’ and Monarch Mtn returns with his characteristically intimate and melancholic whisper-folk.
Dana Gavanski joins Kaiya Cade on the haunting ‘Garden’, Fazed on a Pony serves up a dose of wonky nostalgia and Goodbye Max welcomes us back into his wistful warmth with the modest wonder of ‘Search Party.’ Then there’s the icy pop of Bloodhype, the whimsical momentum of Plant Food, not to mention the playful hush of Lewtrakimou and cool swagger of Saint Charles. Mixing things up, Henoheno and Fair Mothers offer different takes on patient, sprawling music—the ethereal gloom of the former matched in mood and scope by the foreboding creep of the latter.
Elsewhere, Unisex offer a carefree sway with ‘Let the Tide Take You’, Fairy Godmother a garage rock washed with dreamy haze and the likes of Ratbath, Hairpins, Suzy Jivotowski (of GRNDMS) and Deer Scout all provide stellar examples of intimate bedroom folk. Then, in a fitting finale, Smith’s own Good Good Blood teams up with Astral Social Club for mammoth closer ‘Heathen Astronaut’.
With ambient textures and electronic beeps and glimpses of sincere emotion peeking through the fog, the track acts as a kind of summary of the compilation and therefore the Fox Food Record’s mission as a whole. Heartfelt, experimental, bound not by expectation or convention but rather some gut-level intuition. Together, the elements coalesce into an intangible yet sustained sense of spirit, something far more powerful and lasting than anything done alone. This might not be something than can be adequately put into words, but that it exists is a testament to Smith’s judgement and effort. Because something is there, even if you’re not sure what.