Foxpaw is a self-proclaimed “folk emo solo project.” If you’re looking for a second opinion, I agree with the diagnosis. You easily gather that from their singles, but their Spotify description fits perfectly too.
Now I’ve never been one for the emo scene — disappointing, I know. But no matter your familiarity with the genre, Foxpaw’s D Minor is exactly what you would expect it to be. Not to mention, the musicality fits the album name “Campfires” to a T. Obviously written in a minor key, the acoustic guitar and vocals fight for your attention with a distracting dissonance. The production quality equals that of actually sitting around a campfire, creating music in one of the most vulnerable of spaces.
Fitting the intimate campfire ambiance, the lyrics address the struggle of opening up to someone. So often, especially when facing the possibility of a new relationship, we wonder if this new person is trustworthy. We wonder about the opportune time to peel back the layers of our past and let someone in. The vulnerability is intimidating.
Maybe the dissonance between the instrumentation and vocals in Foxpaw’s “D Minor” provides a picture of this confusion. These two elements argue back and forth like the two options of vulnerability and security battling within our heads. Toward the end of the song, we get more accustomed to the combination and the two elements seem to come to an agreement before they fade out altogether.
But I can see the cry for help in your eyes
Buried beneath the bright blue lights
Even though the elements may agree, the lyrics don’t seem to fully resolve. The cry for help never becomes more than a look or a hunch. The vocals drop out and the acoustic guitar slowly leaves the conversation. The option to open up is either forgone, left unfinished or completely ignored. No matter the reality of the situation, the result is the same — the relationship cannot progress.
The campfire session is cut short by an inability to keep the conversation going. The lyricist does his best to create a safe space, reminding us that we all have our own worries and scars. But his invitation is met with radio silence. We could all learn a lesson from Foxpaw — that an attempt to keep ourselves safe by locking our stories away can actually be harmful to those who want to love us if we would only let them in.
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