Today (5th February 2016), Caroline International has announced the release of Laurence Fox’s highly anticipated debut album ‘Holding Patterns’. The album features profound song writing inspired not only by his personal experiences, but also his desire for emotional honesty. Through Laurence’s low, husky vocals and unique melodies, ‘Holding Patterns’ acts as a musical autobiography. Of the album, Laurence has said “’Holding Patterns’ is all the things I wanted to say to you, but I was lost for words.”
His debut album is a turning point as an artist, who has long wished for his musical side to be as fulfilled as the acting side has been for the past few years. Laurence has finally taken the music he has been quietly writing for years and has shared it with the world. “I’m so delighted to share “Holding Patterns” with you. It’s been such a rewarding, and at the same time, demanding creative experience to go through. I really hope you enjoy it. I wrote it to be listened to as a whole. I hope you do!” Laurence Fox
Joining him moving forward are his bandmates Jay Mehler, a member of the well-known rock band ‘Kasabian’; and Jay Starkey, the son of the infamous Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr.
Although Laurence is best known as an established and celebrated actor having portrayed much loved characters; the encouragement he has received from fans in response to his live music performances on London’s open mic scene and Soundcloud has made it obvious that he is a natural singer and songwriter too.
The album became available for pre order on the 6th October 2015 and shot up to No. 9 on the iTunes download chart the next day. His singles from the album, ‘Headlong’ and ‘Rise Again’, have garnered support from Radio 2, ‘Headlong’ having been featured on the Chris Evans Breakfast show and performed on the Dermot O’Leary show.
You’re a recognized and celebrated screen performer born into one of Britain’s true acting dynasties. Although your television role is much loved by a huge section of the British public, you decide it’s time to close the book on it after nine years. What to do next? If you’re Laurence Fox, there’s only one option. You take the music you’ve been quietly writing for years and you put it in front of the people.
“Music lifts you to a different plane,” says Fox. “I love the way it makes you feel. If my music makes other people feel what I feel, then that’s great. I don’t make it for me – it’s for them. Drawing people in is the only point.”
That shouldn’t be a problem. Blessed with a smoked oak barroom voice, Fox has an uncanny knack of writing the kind of rolling acoustic-led numbers that seem ready built for radio as much as festival fields.
Over its eleven tracks, Holding Patterns – Fox’s debut album – takes in the driving and anthemic (Blinded by the Truth) and the symphonic and plaintive (Rise Again) and places it alongside unexpected coal black, skittering electronics (Holding Patterns) and crystalline death pact blues (The Best Mistake). Safe to say, the record is something of a revelation. It also comes directly from the heart.
I’m always urged to write when I feel particularly emotional. The songs are all about my family and friends. You’re writing your life down. It’s a diary of what you’re going through. Sometimes you walk through life and feel it’s out of control. So with my songs, it can be a case of, ‘Oh no! Please!'”
Although inspired in recent years by acclaimed modern songwriters like Scott Matthews and Ryan Adams, Fox grew up a love of hip hop (Biggie and Tupac) in a music-loving house with a dad who had an ear for the classics.
“My dad raised me on the greats like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. I love artists that can express themselves through their music in that way. That’s what I aim to do in my songs.”
Those influences have been filtering into Laurence Fox for some time now. The thirty-seven year old has been writing and recording his own music for the best part of two decades. Meanwhile, he has been consistently in the public eye for the last ten years. Whilst Fox’s fame – playing Detective Inspector James Hathaway in ITV’s massive hit drama, Lewis – could easily have helped open doors for him, his approach with his music was both unassuming and humble.
“I got to the point where I said to myself, ‘This is a good song’, so I uploaded a demo to the BBC Introducing website. Soon afterwards, I received a very complimentary call from them. I’d been worried that people wouldn’t take me seriously. But really I have absolutely no control over that. People were really encouraging and I was so grateful for that goodwill.”
Fox’s musical toe-dipping didn’t stop with a visit to the BBC’s tried and tested tastemaking website. After putting himself forward at the kind of London open mic nights where he could slip in unexpectedly, Fox took to touring the length and breadth of the country off his own back. Over the course of a year, he found himself playing to increasingly appreciative audiences from Cornwall to the Cairngorms. With just a few self-released records under his belt, Fox even got to perform at Glastonbury in 2013. Thankfully, performing on one type of stage isn’t too dissimilar from another.
“In a way it’s not that different from acting in the theatre. You feel that you’re all in it together.”
Despite building up the kind of confidence that packed houses and receptive audiences bring, Fox hasn’t allowed himself time to get cocky. A self-taught musician, he still occasionally finds himself questioning the logic of approaching things the hard way.
“It’s a very profound and highly emotional experience. But it’s worth it because in the end you get this lovely feeling of sharing your music with other people. That’s something I can’t not do.”
He needn’t worry. Holding Patterns is too good for him to keep to himself. Looks like he’ll be sharing his music with a lot more people before too long.