FOXTROTT is the sole musical domain of one Marie-Helene Delorme – a self-taught singer, songwriter and producer from French-speaking Montreal. Originally releasing remixes and supplying beats for other local talents, she broke cover as FOXTROTT with her 2012 debut, ‘Shields’, an emotionally arresting three-track EP. “I was making a lot of beats and stuff, but I needed to express something deeper’ she says of FOXTROTT’s gestation. “I wanted something more - something that resonated with my whole being.” Profile shows like those at Pop Montreal and M For Montreal followed in 2013, and in their wake came attention from Noisey, NME, Elle, Brooklyn Vegan and Line of Best Fit, all flagging FOXTROTT as One to Watch.
Now signed to One Little Indian, FOXTROTT spent much of 2014 maintaining a low profile while working on debut long-player ‘A Taller Us’. Quirky, catchy and highly original - of the creative impulses steering the record, Marie-Helene explains “My goal was to find the perfect balance between rhythms and frequencies, the production style that I wanted to put forward, and lyrics and emotional presence expressed by the voice. It was a big challenge I set myself,” she acknowledges.
Hailing from an extended musical family, FOXTROTT’s musical palette draws inspiration from disparate points on a wide spectrum, some more surprising than others: From old Cumbia to gospel, from hip-hop to reggae and from early dancehall to singer-songwriters (“I stay away from “fusion”” she stresses, wisely) – all have played a significant part in shaping her special musical DNA.
“I make ‘electronic’ music because of the total range of tones, colours and feel available to you,” she says. “You can pick the exact vibrations you need to carry an emotion or message. I chose to write songs with the most emotionally honest lyrics possible, because singing heals me, and it’s the only way to get some emotions - that I couldn’t otherwise express - out of my system. It was a very transformative process for me, and I reached states of joy while working that I didn’t think were possible.”
With an empathetic production style that compliments the disarming honesty of the lyrics, FOXTROTT shows a deft hand for pop melody, addictive bass lines and texture - striking the perfect balance between courage and vulnerability. “I didn’t want to “get weird” or bury my emotions under layers of effects or vague words,” Marie-Helene explains. “I wanted the emotion to be as earnest as possible, even with the risk of sounding corny or ridiculous. This was very important to me.”