Toronto-native Warren Hildebrand began his Foxes in Fiction project in 2005, during his sophomore year of high school, as an outlet for his drug-induced, experimental sound collages. His debut album, Swung from the Branches, was released in 2010 on Hildebrand's own label Orchid Tapes and then later released via Ghostly International's sub-label Moodgadget Records. During the downtime between his Alberto EP, a split 7" with Benoît Pioulard, and a slew of self-releases distributed for free from his website, Hildebrand began to focus heavily on Orchid Tapes, a hub for underground acts that fit within his vision and aesthetic. Since its origination in 2010, the label has released over forty titles through various mediums.
In 2011, Hildebrand hunkered down in his Toronto apartment, writing and recording what would later become his second Foxes in Fiction full-length album entitled Ontario Gothic. The album, which is centered around the idea of loss, finds Hildebrand looking back at the past five years while living in Toronto and the powerful experiences that took place during that time.
"The running theme throughout Ontario Gothic is how I picked up the pieces of my life after the death of my younger brother Drew in 2008, but each song references specific and discreet experiences," says Hildebrand. "The title was something that I thought was evocative and jarring enough to fit the heaviness of what the songs are about."
Hildebrand enlisted songwriter/composer Owen Pallett to contribute string arrangements throughout the album, giving it a warm, rich overtone. He then moved to New York in 2013.
"Personal loss and dealing with anxiety and depressive issues that I've struggled with my most of my life have played into my music and the way I work for as long as I can remember. Growing up gay on a small farm in rural Ontario was part of the reason that I got into writing and making music as a young kid, and the isolation and loneliness that I went through because of that helped to shape the conditions under which I usually make my best work."
Ontario Gothic will be released on September 23 via Orchid Tapes.
'Ontario Gothic' tracklist:
1. March 2011
2. Into the Fields
3. Glow (v079)
4. Shadow's Song
5. Ontario Gothic
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.