BlackBook Tracks #36: The Fox

 

Is there any creature as beautiful and enigmatic as the fox? No other woodland animal is as famed for making friends with dogs, shapeshifting into human form, and sending drunk texts. Yes, foxes are truly amazing, but they leave us with one question: what do they say?

 

Ylvis – “The Fox”

In an impressive feat of something, I’m still not quite sure what yet, the Norwegian TV stars Ylvis have delivered one of the most memorable songs of the year with “The Fox.” The song’s now-viral video is a strikingly well-produced tribute to the beauty of nature that must be seen to be believed. Hopefully these guys will enter the Eurovision Song Contest, Europe’s annual face-off that determines which country can produce the best/weirdest pop hit, preferably with the help of elaborate costumes, dance routines, and elderly people.
 
 

Niki & The Dove – “The Fox”

The Swedes in Niki & The Dove are nothing but business compared to their Norwegian neighbors. Last year’s impressive debut LP Instinct included “The Fox,” a dark, churning slice of the the duo’s dramatic take on synth-pop. Of course Niki & The Dove’s penchant for animal imagery would include foxes, as sleek and regal as their productions. Instinct is out now on Sub Pop.
 
 

Belle & Sebastian – “The Fox In The Snow”

“The Fox In The Snow” is one of Belle & Sebastian’s most iconic songs, appearing on 1996’s If You’re Feeling Sinister. Tying together three simple images of innocence and melancholy, the track shows just how evocative the Scottish twee icons can be. The band recently released Third Eye Centre, a compilation of B-sides and remixes.
 
 

Born Ruffians – “Foxes Mate For Life”

“Life sucks and love is dumb,” sing Born Ruffians on the charmingly lo-fi “Foxes Mate For Life,” a highlight of 2008 album Red Yellow & Blue. Frontman Luke Lalonde’s distinctive yelp takes a turn for the mournful here as he struggles to stay positive. The latest from the Canadian crew, Birthmarks, was released earlier this year on Yep Roc.
 
 

Jarvis Cocker – “Petey’s Song”

Wes Anderson’s stop-motion adaptation of Fantastic Mr. Fox had absolutely no shortage of charm, but this cameo from Jarvis Cocker was one of its standout delights. In puppet form, the famed Pulp frontman ad-libs a jaunty tune while strumming a banjo, though his boss doesn’t care much for free-form songwriting. If only he was as free as a wild animal.

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