Foxes finds herself in the same pop bracket as Little Boots and Marina & The Diamonds; a little more leftfield than the likes of Lily Allen but still respected by adults of a certain age that openly prefer “pop” to “indie” – both far too vague to even contemplate a debate on what they actually mean – but didn’t set an alarm to secure tickets to S Club’s OAParty.
With bouncing beats, twinkling keys and melodies that roll through verses before switching it up for sing-out-loud choruses, her formula is a winning one that has seen her working with house producer Zedd on the Grammy award winning, Billboard #8 hit ‘Clarity’, while currently collaborating with Giorgio Moroder on his upcoming album.
Opener (both tonight and on her debut, Glorious) ‘Talking to Ghosts’ sets the tone for a concoction of Pharrell-like so-simple-it’s-stupendous rhythms and Destiny’s Child sass, while both acts are covered during a set of other people’s songs, including the former’s ‘Happy’ (given a Live Lounge makeover) and an impressive, acoustic take on the latter’s ‘Say My Name’- with a seamless slide into Artful Dodger’s garage anthem ‘Movin’ Too Fast’. Festival favourite ‘Right Here’ (the Rudimental track Foxes leant her vocals to) is also played to one of the biggest reactions of the night, both from her own performance and the crowd’s surge in energy.
The covers hint at a lack of confidence for her own album tracks that needn’t be there however, as the squelching bass of ‘White Coats’ and marching, mid-tempo house of ‘Night Owls Early Birds’ are as strong as any of the singles, yet these naturally provide the highlights of the evening. ‘Holding Onto Heaven‘ and ‘Youth’ (“Don’t tell me our youth is running out, it’s only just begun”) are intelligent, bubblegum anthems, while ‘Let Go For Tonight’ reverts back to the Rudimental rules of four-minute explosions, building up with strings and confident piano chords before a chorus that doesn’t need to beg for audiences to bounce, as letting it go is only a natural reaction to those who question needing sleep.
Both Little Boots and Marina Diamandis have so far failed to reach the heights their debuts hinted at, but with a follow up half as glorious as her debut, Foxes could become the impossibly acceptable pop princess we haven’t really seen since Kylie’s crowning.