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“Time has come for Mr. Fox” - Boston Herald
“Catch him as his star rises” - Time Out NYC
What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? is making music that feels exposed and personal, but cinematic in scope. The Boston/NYC band blends baroque pop with soul noir, conjuring up something like the dark-tinged drama of Florence + The Machine, the roots of Aretha Franklin, and the songcraft of The Decemberists.
The first thing that listeners respond to is the soulful warmth and strength of lead-singer, 3rian King’s gender-defying voice, which “can simmer in blues, tremble with high drama, and faint into a yawning croon” according to Michael Brodeur of the Boston Phoenix. Next are the words, from deeply intimate songs to those that cross into a mystical realm, making the personal feel timeless and mythic.
“From a very young age, I learned how to express my feelings through my imagination,” King explains. “I was bullied relentlessly in school, so the marsh behind my parents’ house became my sanctuary, a fantasy realm of witches, nature, and magic. I think many of our songs cross between these worlds.”
What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? often take famous storybook characters and give them a modern translation. In “Humpty Dumpty Girl,” they turn the classic story into a tragic fable about a troubled star who repeatedly falls from grace, but assembles her broken pieces into whatever her scrutinizing public might want. In “Little bit Of Blue,” the title track off their latest album, the sad French clown, Pierrot becomes the spokesperson for emotional authenticity:
“I was inspired by Kenneth Anger’s film ‘Rabbit Moon’ in which Pierrot tries to win the hand of Columbine by offering her the moonlight in his hand,” King says. “Sadly, she rejects him, but I love this image of someone offering their simple human response to beauty. When I wrote the song, my friend’s husband was dying of cancer, and she was trying to be strong for him, but also allowing herself to feel her own grief, rather than stuffing it away. This song really speaks to that experience.”
The band’s lush instrumentation sets the scene for each musical tale. Violinist and trumpeter, Nathan Cohen seamlessly sways from romantic classical melodies to southern fiddle or Klezmer, depending on what the song dictates. Mike Leggio transitions from thunderous rumbling on the upright bass to lilting jazz, or grabs his bow for even deeper tones. The five female background singers, affectionately called The Furies, add a haunting choral effect, often occupying the territory of Rolling Stones’ “Let It Bleed.” Drummer, Nate Greenslit keeps his inventive pulse on the lyrics as well as the groove, while Lori Perkin’s whirring Hammond organ and Leslie speaker is the honey that glues the sound together.
What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? sells out legendary clubs like Club Passim (Cambridge, MA) and The Duplex (NYC), recently earning the Critic's Pick in Time Out NYC. Their original song "Cold Rain" was covered by New Orleans Soul Queen, Irma Thomas on her 2008 Grammy-nominated CD "Simply Grand," earning the track high praise from Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, and USA Today. What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? hosted their own sold-out CD release party for “Little Bit Of Blue” at Oberon in Cambridge, MA and Dixon Place in NYC. The musical circuses featured animation, trapezists, and dancers accompanying the live band.