Release Date: Sep 23, 2014
Record label: Banter Media
There is no way to understand the sadness Warren Hildebrand has experienced since his younger brother died in 2008. But in Foxes In Fiction, the Toronto-raised/Brooklyn-based musician channels his sorrow through delicate, tranquil dream pop to comfort us. He calls it "healing pop," and boy does it ever work.On his debut album, 2010's Swung From the Branches, Hildebrand focused more on loosely constructed dream-like sketches.
At no point during Ontario Gothic does it sound like an album that would be subject to outside expectations, let alone hype. Foxes in Fiction’s second LP abounds with reverb-insulated synths, lo-res drums, Warren Hildebrand’s barely whispered vocals and little else; this is music for and by people who worry about waking up their roommates, not their neighbors. But as a man once said, the underground just spun around and did a 360.
Warren Hildebrand's second album as Foxes in Fiction packs a remarkable level of emotion into its 30 minutes. Inspired by the painful loss of a younger sibling, Ontario Gothic wraps the Canadian-born artist's low-fi hymns in endless miles of reverb, cushioning the hurt in layers of soft sound. Again and again, heavenly melodies cut through the fog of sadness: Album highlights like ''Glow (v079),'' ''Altars,'' ''Shadow's Song'' and the title track are as achingly pretty as anything you'll hear this year.
Foxes in Fiction is the musical project of Toronto native Warren Hildebrand. In 2010, he had a minor cult hit with his expansive, expressionistic album Swung from the Branches. At first glance, the half-hour of music on Ontario Gothic would seem like a slight return, but Hildebrand’s hushed tunes are as generous in sound and scope as ever. “March 2011” rises and spreads like morning fog on gentle keys and airy vocals.
Every time I start to listen to Ontario Gothic, I have to immediately turn the volume up. And that’s because the album is so incredibly unimposing; at first it seems like it’s afraid of taking up too much space. But as the LP unfolds, it begins to patiently reveal itself for what it is: an immensely personal, intricately woven sonic puzzle, each track nodding in some way to another; each track reliant on the album’s form, reliant on the listener’s context.