The Grand Rapids indie folk-rock ensemble talks about its growth as a band and performs in-studio for the latest edition of HopCat presents Local Spins Live. Check out the story, podcast and video.
Watching for Foxes has grown in more ways than one.
Launched in early 2014 as a “three-piece suite” from Fremont playing melancholy neo-folk, the Grand Rapids-based ensemble now performs and records as a six-piece “flannel rock” outfit with an all-enveloping, sonically expansive sound, inspired by everything from Mumford & Sons to Manchester Orchestra, Band of Horses and Father John Misty.
Frontman and lead singer Joey Frendo describes it as “this amalgamation of sounds that we’ve taken from different places and thrown it in here or there, and intermingled them in songs in different ways. As we’ve grown, we’ve been able to incorporate more influences in what we do and in what we strive to be.”
With that freshly honed sound and its “forever lineup” – Frendo, cellist Geoffrey Kartes, guitarist Jared Meeuwenberg, bassist/banjo player Cameron Barber, keyboard player Ricky Olmos and drummer Brandon Hanes – Watching for Foxes unfurled its oft-melancholy, atmospheric folk-rock for the latest session of HopCat presents Local Spins Live at River City Studios.
Listen to the full interview and performance in the podcast here, and watch a video of the band’s intimate one-hour Local Spins Live session at River City Studios attended by a small audience below.
PODCAST: Watching for Foxes (HopCat presents Local Spins Live at River City Studios)
Engineered by Roy Wallace
The band has been touring behind its new full-length album, “Undone Bird,” which Frendo described as “the thing we’re most proud of for sure and the thing that sounds most like us.”
Recorded at the Grand Rapids studio of The Crane Wives’ Ben Zito, “Undone Bird” is full of “really raw and emotional” passages that reflect the lyrics and the mood of the music.
“The album is a lot of raw emotion and a lot of healing and a lot of transition, so it felt right to do it in a space like that,” says Frendo.
“We hope it’s like our coming out party into doing this as a full-time band. We have some really cool things coming up and some things to announce as far as booking agents and managers and all that kind of stuff, so it feels really good to be gratified by all that.”
The Local Spins Live session featured in-studio performances of several tracks from the new album, as well as the song, “Freedom Hymn.”
The future, as they say, appears to be bright for this band which already is at work on its next LP, something Frendo vows will have “even more sonic textures” than “Undone Bird.”
“I’m lucky enough to have six other guys who are able to put this beautiful tapestry of soundscape behind what I write and what I sing,” says Frendo. “I feel very lucky to do that.”
The band plays The Crofoot in Pontiac on Oct. 21 and Rupert’s Brew House in Kalamazoo on Oct. 22 before mounting an East Coast tour in late October and early November. Upon its return to Michigan, Watching for Foxes will play Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids on Nov. 10.
Read more about Watching for Foxes in this Local Spins Artist Spotlight.
VIDEO: HopCat presents Local Spins Live at River City Studios
Watching for Foxes (2016)
Video by the River City Video Team
PHOTO GALLERY: Watching for Foxes at River City
Photos by Anthony Norkus