Bill Fox, or, Lit-Mag Mixtapes Forever

A couple of years ago, The Believer‘s music issue featured a long essay on a singer/songwriter named Bill Fox. I hadn’t really heard much from the guy — I remembered getting a review copy of his album Shelter From the Smoke for my zine in the mid-90s, but not of it registering with me all that much — but the song enclosed on the compilation that accompanied the issue left me incredibly impressed: the sort of beautiful, classic pop that one might turn to Big Star for. (Amusing reactions came from a couple of friends from Northeastern Ohio, whose reaction to my newfound appreciation of the man’s songcraft was to look at me and say, essentially, “You’re only figuring this out now?”)

I picked up Scat Records’ reissues of Shelter From the Smoke and (Fox’s band) The Mice’s For Almost Ever Scooter a couple of years ago, and have savored them ever since. And then a few weeks ago, via this DoneWaiting piece, I learned that Fox had just released a new album, One Thought Revealed. Short version: I ordered it and have been listening to it regularly ever since. It’s starker than his other work in places, and as catchy and bittersweet as anything he’s recorded in others. Steven Slaybaugh has a fine write-up for The Agit Reader, and Matt Lee’s Big Takeover review is incredibly comprehensive:

The songs Bill Fox writes are so fundamentally real and vibrant they transport you right to where you’re supposed to be if you’re any sort of dreamer at all, they become part of your synaptic tapestry, in the Folkways archive of your mind and memory.

I agree wholeheartedly. One Thought Revealed is an album well worth your time (and money).