Hailing from the southeastern corridor of these United States, the Foxhole sextet has spent the past six years delving ever deeper into the well of human experience. Yet theirs is no navel-gazing, art-rock foray—rather, it is a shared calling of expression in its purest form: climbing heights where words fall short, exploring the rich depths of love, of loss, and of those things in between.
Oft compared to other post-rock instrumental bands, Foxhole has aspired to more than quiet-to-loud, layer-upon-layer riffage. No, their music is more neo-classical than post-rock, more stirring and substantial. After two self-released EPs, the group released their first full-length in 2004 via Michigan-based Selah Records (Anathallo, The Last Broadcast). We the Wintering Tree, an hour-long meditation on death and rebirth, was released to much acclaim; though missed by most major reviewers, the CD was praised by numerous indie zines including Bandoppler, and was listed as a “favorite” by bands such as Anathallo and Sparta (ex-At The Drive In). A number of tracks made it into regular rotation on college radio from Atlanta to Alaska, even charting on CMJ for a time.
Their latest mini-album, Push/Pull, was recorded for Philadelphia’s Burnt Toast Vinyl with a winter release. The cover is a graphic illustration of a friend’s death at sea, the subject of the first four songs of Push/Pull. The artwork further develops their expansive, lustrous soundscapes. Foxhole’s characteristic delayed guitars and muted trumpets are joined by keys, strings, and familiar sounds in unfamiliar settings. Aaron Marrs was a high school friend of both Derek and Greg. Aaron also helped Greg get established with his career in graphic design. He had done some work designing album covers and he also directed some music videos. He had been working on a documentary on Alaskan crab fishermen and was working as a fisherman on his fatal trip. The songs reflect Aaron's death in an abstract way. Foxhole began writing "Wake up, Get Dressed, We're Sinking" with this in mind, trying to make a sound collage of what would be happening at the time. The songs that follow are loosely based on that continuing theme, but took on lives of their own. The titles and themes of these pieces don't directly correspond to the sinking ship, but the mood and basic structure of the four, as a whole, is reflective of the event. The fifth song on Push/Pull was written for the cult phenomenon Wesley Willis. Justin was very interested in Willis and his whole story around the time that he died. Willis struck him as a very tragic, very touching figure in a different way than most. The resulting song is Justin’s homage to Wesley Willis.
Despite their varied careers (artists, entrepreneurs, English teachers, etc.), the group has played all over the eastern U.S. with such bands as Anathallo, Danielson, Saxon Shore, Denison Witmer and Unwed Sailor. Foxhole also went on a short tour in early summer with Jackson, MS’s Colour Revolt (Esperanza Plantation). They’ve also been featured on various compilations in the U.S. and Europe.
The album was self recorded at The Annex, The Sanctuary, and Justin’s coffeeshop in Bowling Green, KY and mixed and mastered by Jason in his Nashville studio. Early in the year, Foxhole will be starting work early on their sophomore full-length to be released on Burnt Toast Vinyl. We the Wintering Tree will also be re-issued on Burnt Toast Vinyl during 2007.
This is part of a four instrumental band series where each band was commissioned to fill an LP side with new music. Burnt Toast Vinyl will be releasing the four bands together as one double-LP set, but also as individual cdeps. The series includes Foxhole’s Push/Pull, The Magic Lantern’s s/t, Soporus’ Atómové Elektrárne, and Questions in Dialect’s The Ghost Wishes to Speak.