On Louisa Rose Allen’s Warrior, the crooning newcomer makes a heavy impression in just five songs. Releasing music under the moniker Foxes, the 22-year-old UK native has created a beautifully ethereal EP that warrants all sorts of comparisons, but equally manages to stand on its own two feet. While no song lives up to the full force of her anthem-ready single “Youth” that dropped earlier this year, the EP shows a gathering maturity and comfort level where Allen relies on her own vocals rather than on production or intricate instrumentation.
The strength of Warrior lies in Allen’s soaring and haunting voice, backed by electronic percussion, heavy synths and piano that create an ample but rightly simple bed for the vocals to lie in, or more aptly, to roll around in. Foxes easily falls in line with the large-lunged females that have come before her (the easiest association being with Florence Welch), but her voice remains much more self-contained than many of her predecessors’, never becoming overly indulgent or gratuitous as it would be easy to do on a debut EP. While supplying a live, acoustic version of the title track on such a small release seems unnecessary, especially since the two are not glaringly different apart from the obvious, the second take of “Warrior” does have its own distinct high points, most notably in the gospel-eqse backing vocals that are lost in the hazy instrumentation of the original. Warrior is a solid, rich debut, but more importantly, it is a debut that promises there is more to come.