It’s those wildcard moments in life that lead to soulful transformation. For the sleek pop-rock quartet Fox In Oil, that moment came when a band of seasoned professionals decided to take a chance on a newbie, a 15-year-old wunderkind female vocalist and songwriter. Lucky for all involved, it was a match made in pop heaven, leading the Saint-Petersburg, Russia-based band to a new era of fertile creativity and assured artistry. Now, with a recently released EP, and its milestone follow-up EP slated for release, Fox In Oil is poised to emerge an international pop powerhouse.
“The main thing for us has been to learn how to communicate—we had to figure out how to coexist without hurting each other,” shares Alex K, Fox In Oil’s co-founder and the band’s guitarist, co-songwriter, producer, and manager. “Having grown a lot as people and artists, we’re now ready to pursue our goal of breaking out abroad.”
In addition to band visionary and founder Alex K, Fox In Oil features Daria on vocals, songwriting, and production; Alex V on drums and beat production; and Dmitry bass, management, and as a gear guru. The four-piece band specializes in chic pop-rock hooks, sensual modern R&B-tinged vocals, and atmospheric textures. Fox In Oil have garnered favorable comparisons to a broad array of modern artists, including Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Modest Mouse, among others.
The group’s epiphanic era began in 2015 when Daria auditioned for the band. At the time, Fox In Oil was in a transitional period. The group had mega pop ambitions and required a vocalist with a clean melodic sound and the ability to sing convincingly in an English-speaking band. After trying out several vocalists, Daria became the obvious choice. She was a prodigiously talented singer with star power, sharp songwriting instincts, and she brought in a refreshingly eclectic array of modern influences, including Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber. “During that first rehearsal, she was so calm and composed, she was full of ideas, and really seemed mature,” Alex K recalls.
In 2016, the group issued its debut EP, Flowers Bloom In Atacama Desert—the EP’s name was pinched from a newspaper headline. This 4-song EP packs clever arrangements, smart hooks, jagged alt-rock touches, majestic electronic touches, and a driving rhythm section into swanky modern pop oozing charisma, sensuality, and yearning. The leadoff single, “Let Me Believe,” opens with Daria’s vocals at the forefront, showcasing her dynamic expressive sweep, from airy sweetness to rich emotiveness. Here, the band supports her with nuanced sparseness, strategically building up tension until climaxing with a soaring chorus. On the ominously entrancing “Dog,” Daria sings with seething moxie, and her robust low tone vocals conjure Annie Lennox. The song is feast for the ears as different textures and musical touches come peek in and out of the arrangement including lush vocal harmonies, smoldering bluesy guitar figures, and haunting atmospherics. In the middle of it all, there is a sun-peering-through-the-clouds passage where the drums stop, leaving Daria virtually alone singing with sweet vengeance. The track “Love, Love Love” showcases Fox In Oil’s organic neo-soul side, and the track “Book Chapter” delves deep into smoky jazz-R&B pop.
Fox In Oil’s latest opus is Snow Falls in The Sahara Desert. Again, this creative cycle was inspired by a newspaper headline when the four-piece playfully took this as an omen to write their debut’s follow up. The EP raises the quality of production and songwriting, deepening Fox In Oil’s blend of chic pop with sophisticated strains of R&B. The EP features crystalline pianos, grand string sections, lusher atmospherics, and a loose thematic bend of love and relationships mirroring the changing of the seasons from heated romance to the coldness of a breakup. The EP also benefits from the golden touch of Nashville-based production team of Christian Fiore and Daniel Grimmett who collaborated with Fox In Oil to sweeten select tracks on the release.
With two EP available in the marketplace, Fox In Oil is now shifting its attention to meticulously planning its live show which promises to be an immersive experience replete with a dazzling visual component. Look for the band on select dates in Europe, and in the U.S.