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Single Review: Billy Fox 'Monuments'

Introducing Billy Fox – the solo project of Sydney-based alternative-electronic producer Chris Baker.

If the name sounds familiar it’s because Baker was the front man and one of the writers for hip hop group Botanics, who broke up in 2012, leading Baker to pursue his music career as a solo artist. This has brought us to where we are now with ‘Monuments’ – the first release of Billy Fox, a song that demonstrates his hip-hop influences, but also shows that Baker has a much wider range of music influences including indie, R&B and most notably, electronica.

Monuments begins with heavy synths that immediately draw you into the rhythm of the song, an intense beginning that eventually relaxes into a smooth beat. My expectations for Monuments becomes obsolete as Baker introduces a delicate vibraphone to accent the beat of the song, and images of hard hip hop in my mind are affectively squandered. This is why Monuments works – it is the fine touches and minor elements that make it layered and unique.

 The song picks up and Baker introduces pleasant and harmonious vocals. The song is chilled and melodious, with a diverse range of sounds, but not to an overwhelming extent. There is something incredibly calming about Monuments even though it has a steady beat, but it isn’t sedating. It’s easy listening, but not simple listening. Baker takes the song to many different places, but never to a place that feels wrong. The song builds momentum toward the end as Baker reintroduces the heavy synths and sings repetitious phrases over and over again, each time building more emphasis and momentum.

Monuments is an interesting song; it isn’t anything spectacular or groundbreaking, but it hints at good things to come from Billy Fox. It is a song to put on in the car, after a long day at work or when you open that first beer on Friday evening. It is a song that makes you feel good, but it isn’t a song that makes you understand why.


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