By Shannon Carlin
Louisa Rose Allen freely admits she suffers from Peter Pan syndrome. Like the Lost Boys, the 25-year-old singer—who is better known as Foxes—never, ever wants to grow up.
This stay-gold attitude is a running theme throughout Allen’s debut, Glorious, which was just released in the U.S., with songs that encourage you to ditch your cubicle for a fun and fancy free world where adults can have food fights. It seems as if Allen’s ideal world isn’t really that much different than her video for “Let Go of Tonight,” where yes, she does get to throw a few colorful confections in her friends face.
“It’s just a bunch of adults not thinking,” Allen said of the clip, which was inspired by a music video concept she came up with when she was just eight years old.
The English songstress also says that the song “Youth” is one of rebellion, written to let others know that just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to give up your childhood dreams.
“I definitely think I was brought up to have this idea that you can do what you love and you can kind of stay a big kid and have that imagination,” Allen told Radio.com, before making the point once again, “You can do what you love.”
You might want to heed her advice, since doing what she loves has led to a lot of good things, including a hit song with Fall Out Boy and a little track with Zedd called “Clarity,” which ended up earning her a GRAMMY for Best Dance Recording earlier this year. After her win, she even drunkenly asked R. Kelly if she could sing his song “Bump N’ Grind” for him. He obliged and even joined in.
For her first solo album, Allen found inspiration in her female musical heroes like Patti Smith, Björk and Kate Bush. She says those women take a “no apologies approach” and know exactly who they are as artists.
“I think they’re really real,” Allen said. “There’s depth behind it. You can just tell it’s so personal and sometimes I feel like when I’m listening I shouldn’t be listening. You just know that it’s something that’s really deep and it means a lot to them.”
She added, “They’re true artists. I think they will never do what the rest of the world’s doing, they’ll do what they want to do and what feels right and natural for them.”
Two other women that have had a big hand in making Allen who she is today is her grandma and her vintage store-owning mum, who Allen says keeps her looking stylish. Without her, Allen would probably just walk around wearing mom jeans all the time. “They’re comfy,” she said. “I like comfy clothes.”
Both of the women make guest appearances on the Glorious track “Shaking Heads.” As an ode to Kate Bush’s song “Waking The Witch” off her 1985 album, Hounds of Love, Allen’s mum is heard telling her daughter to wake up like she did back when her little Lily couldn’t get up for school on time. Her grandma, however, ended up on that same track completely by accident after Allen unknowingly recorded the older woman on her phone.
“She’s just puttering around the kitchen just saying things, talking loads of random stuff,” Allen explained. “I realized it was on there and thought it was weird. A couple of months later I was in the studio and remember playing it and thought, ‘That’s crazy, I have to put that on there.'”
If you listen closely to the album, you’ll also get some insight into Foxes personal life. Allen says the majority of the record is actually about her first love. This includes the track “White Coats,” which focuses on Allen’s struggle with anxiety and how this special guy offered her comfort when she needed it most.
“I was obviously madly in love,” she said. “But the song is about my anxieties. That doesn’t get brought up enough, anxiety and panic attacks. It’s a problem a lot of people face. So it’s a love story, but it’s a crazy love story.”
On the album’s title track, Allen gets at the heart of what it’s like making an album. For the singer—who wrote her first song “Like Foxes Do” when she was just 13 — making her debut was a long time coming. The experience certainly put her through the wringer, forcing her to toughen up and ignore all those people who told her to get a real job already.
“I think ‘Glorious’ is about feeling strength. Seeing the beauty around you when you’re not seeing it,” Allen said. “You’re trying to see the silver lining and really sticking with something. I just love that message. That’s what this album is all about.”