Fox Stevenson’s debut album Killjoy has had one of the more subtle rollouts of 2019, but it will end up being one of the strongest albums all year with its infectious melodies, unique production styles, and endless amounts of fun.
One of my biggest issues with drum n bass or dubstep albums, or bass albums in general, is that so many of them are focused on making the hardest bangers, the hardest bass, the snappiest snares. In doing so, a lot of the time, they forget that this music should be fun beyond all else, and that’s where Fox Stevenson excels. It’s hard to tell whether it’s his particular production style, with filters on his own vocals and bass, or the tempo of the music, or some other unknown element or everything all together, but Killjoy absolutely doesn’t live up to its namesake as it is just pure joy in every sense of the word.
It’s hard to think of another album without any features that has had so much of a true album vibe. Pioneers like Robert Delong and Big Data come to mind, but no one so firmly rooted in the EDM world as Fox. With his brilliant combination of pop lyrics and melodies with drum n bass tempos, this is by far one of the most unparalleled listening experiences of the year.
The album begins with “Out My Head,” which is hardly an electronic dance music track except for the fact that it was produced electronically by an electronic producer. But in that sense, it’s a brilliant way to open the album by immediately dashing expectations, and it sets a fantastic tone for how the album builds out from there.
“Killjoy” is a soft, introspective song. It always feels like something is bubbling beneath the surface, especially after the comparatively upbeat “Out My Head” that preceded it; and, that’s exactly the case. Following this interlude comes “Broken Man,” a positively fun and bouncy song that fits seamlessly within Fox’s sonic motif he’s developed for himself, but still manages to introduce something new.
This sort of call & response is present everywhere on the album, presenting a natural ebb and flow that keeps things interesting, never for a second letting you get bored.
Check out Killjoy, the debut album from Fox Stevenson, below!
Photo via Franne Norman