A self-proclaimed gypsy, The Foxies frontwoman Julia Bullock, has travelled all terrains from Phoenix to North Carolina. Her transient nature has geared her with the best bandmates possible and with the perfect lineup The Foxies were more than ready to out-do themselves and create another EP that outshined the rest.
Growing Up Is Dead, The Foxies third EP, is out May 29 and follows previous releases Battery and Oblivion. The new EP features sparkling, peppy anthems like “Hyper Hypo”, “Anti Socialite” and “Call Me When Your Phone Dies”.
Much of the material from the EP was fostered by LA producers Sean and Alex Silverman who Bullock had worked with before. Taking a hint from her inner-gypsy voice, Bullock made many trips out to LA with her bandmates Jake Ohlbaum and Rob Bodley to write and work on music with the Silvermans. The group knew they were the only choice that made sense when discussing their vision for the new EP.
“We all kind of sat down and were like the Battery EP is cool, it was kind of left field for us and taps into the darker grungier side of what we can create,” the frontwoman told American Songwriter. “And it was good but not amazing, so we went back to the drawing board. We knew it would be right with the Silvermans. So why not try to create something twenty times better?”
“When I joined and started working with Julia and these guys it was like ‘ok how can I help it be better or blend in?’ guitarist Jake Ohlbaum said. “I was trying to figure out what my role was. And those guys were so nurturing, they are really good at sensing when something is done or when we need to shift something. I felt like we could all throw out whatever ideas we had and someone else would be the litmus test. Sean and Alex are both from east coast and grew up playing in the indie rock band scene like I did, so when I met them and got into a room with them it just felt really comforting. I felt like I already knew them.”
“Anti Socialite” was one of the first songs created for the EP and came out of the writing sessions in LA. The band really looked inward for clues on how to make the song and EP different. Instead of focusing on external relationships with people, they wanted to write more about the way they perceived themselves and their own thoughts.
“’Anti Socialite’ was created during one of the first trips we took to LA,” Bullock said. “I felt a lot of pressure with the EP because Oblivion was just such a great piece of work and we had Battery that kind of tested the waters and now we have to make something that is like Oblivion 2.0. We were all sitting around and words started coming about and it was like maybe this EP doesn’t need to be about us and other people, but more about our relationship with our internal self. Each song on this EP aside from “French Boy” are all songs that are transparent in who we are, so it’s definitely a self-love album in a sense.”
“When you hear these songs, they should say ‘I’m not afraid to admit this super weird thing about myself”’ Ohlbaum added.
Aligning with the EP’s charisma, the music video for “Anti Socialite” taps into the funky, silly, super pop facets of The Foxies and stars musical icon John Oates as acting role of ‘Coach’- a total random and spontaneous string of luck made possible by the band’s friend who produced the video.
“He (John Oates) was just the coolest human,” Bullock said. “Our friend Morgan Swank wrote and produced the music video and she was like ‘I got a couple people that would be great for the coach role, but one stuck out because he already said yes within five minutes of sending the email’. She was like ‘it’s John Oates’, and I was like you got to be fucking kidding me?!’ He was just so down to earth and genuinely interested in us as people and peers. It felt like we were hanging with a homie.”
Matching the same flair and energy in “Anti Socialite” is “Hyper Hypo”, a song dedicated to the mental illness sufferers of the world, who take charge of it and wear it on their sleeve but never bow to it.
“’Hyper Hypo’ is an ode to the mental disorders and what we all kind of have. I’m a hyperactive-hypochondriac,” Bullock explained. “It’s almost the anthem to owning that and saying ‘hey this who I am’. If I go onto WebMD because my head hurts and it says I’ve got brain cancer, best believe I’m going to be worrying for like a day.”
“You can really hear the inner voices in that song, and I think that’s where the power is,” Ohlbaum added.
This kind of inner-reflection and vulnerability to admit flaws is exactly what The Foxies want to show their fans and hope each and every listener will hear and maybe even relate to. Extending a hand and creating a connection with their fans is always their goal, even if it’s just for one song.
“I want to be able to play for the world,” Bullock said. “I really do feel like music is the universal language and the one way we can connect with everyone. Even if it’s just for one song or one set, if we connect then that means we’ve done our job right.”