The Luminous Foxtrott
The idiosyncratic electronica of Montreal’s MH Delorme, a.k.a. FOXTROTT, tells a story of young adulthood. “Emotions, reflections, from dark to luminous,” she describes. “The themes are super personal.” With buzz from north of the border, she’s been making her way stateside with a slew of underground performances, and now opens up to The WILD in anticipation of her debut LP, A Taller Us. It’s a record that, for her, represents a physical, emotional, and spiritual experience. For us too.
What’s behind the name?
It’s a long story, but when I was a kid, at a summer camp they nicknamed me “helpful fox”… I also have a bunch of home organs and my favorite beat has always been the Foxtrott. I find that there is a sense of simplicity, elegance, and rhythm to it.
What was your first musical discovery?
I was raised in a more “classical music family.” The day I discovered my parents had the vinyl of Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder, it opened up my brain a lot. I then started to listen to a lot of old soul music, a lot of hip hop, and then reggae music, and then electronic music, and so on.
When you are hit with a musical idea, how do you capture it?
I record a lot of it in my phone. Sometimes I listen to snippets in my phone that I thought were five different songs, and then they all work together and it’s actually the same song.
Or when I’m in my studio, I start with one or two really simple but interesting elements, like a sound or a rhythm, and then sometimes the rest of the song comes to me so quickly, so I have to hurry up and capture it. Sometimes, though, it takes months. And it has nothing to do with the quality of the song itself, just different paths.
Do you take the same approach to lyrics as you do when producing beats and melodies?
Lyrics can take a long time. I usually hear the sounds of what will become words very very precisely, like the consonants and the vowels. It feels a bit like the words are already there but I have to dig for them. Sometimes I have to dig for a long time.
What bolsters your creative output? Are there things that hinder you from fully expressing yourself musically?
Spending time alone, animals, nature. Cooking for the people I love. Meditation, writing. These are all things that keep my creativity flowing.
Self-doubt, being overly social, reading too much crap on the internet, these are all things that can block my creativity.
You have a pretty unique take on the Smith’s “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.” What drew you to that song?
I think there is no doubt that it is a very beautiful and powerful song, in terms of songwriting. It’s a song that had a strong impact on me emotionally when i first heard it. I guess I wanted to sing and internalize it. It is a way for me to feel it even more deeply.
What ties together your album, A Taller Us?
The themes are super personal. I see it as my young adulthood condensed. Lots of emotions / reflections, from dark to luminous.
Sound-wise, I think each track has its own personality and role, but they definitely belong to the same family. I really tried my best to make a record that you can read equally on many levels, from the production to the vocal lines to the lyrical content. I tried to make a record that speaks to the whole body. A record that’s physical, emotional, spiritual.
What have you had on heavy rotation in your headphones recently?
I listen to a lot of instrumental music lately… Producers like Nguzunguzu, Mr. Carmack, Jam City…
And also lots of early grime and early dancehall.
The best sound in the world:
That’s a tough one. Biting in a folded potato chip.
What’s next for you?
Releasing my first record, playing shows, traveling. But also, working on new music constantly, playing with sounds, collaborating with people, etc.
What is your WILD Wish?
Having a beautiful luminous large studio in the countryside and living with two dogs and a donkey, and having people over to work or just eat.
Photography by Camilo Fuentealba
Hair & Makeup by Maina Militza
Using CHANEL & TRESemme