Nashville – Stone Cold Fox found a place to shine in Nashville, debuting to local audiences at The Basement. The Brooklyn-based indie band wowed with their stunning (yet brief) set, bringing with them ethereal synth chords complimented by solid percussion. What resulted was a densely packed show that brimmed with youthful energy. Once Stone Cold Fox took the stage, listeners immediately perked up to their sunny sound—a welcome wave of warmth on an otherwise misty, dreary December evening. Those who filtered in and out of The Basement’s New Faces Nite stayed put for Stone Cold Fox, proving that those of us in the audience weren’t there to simply find refuge from the cold.
The Basement, a Nashville favorite and one of the city’s premier intimate venues, proved to be the ideal location to showcase the five-member ensemble. Their music sounded beautifully pristine between the unfinished brick walls, which rang especially true in the silky vocal harmony of “Pictures.” It didn’t take long for me to realize that audiences flock here in order to witness something that is so satisfying on a sensory level, and the unique talent that Stone Cold Fox brought to the small stage only served to highlight this phenomenon.
It’s nearly impossible to define this band’s sound with one word, and while it’s obvious that their arrangements are rooted in familiar influences, the songs themselves seem to transcend any classic underpinnings to emerge as something far more elusive. Not quite rock, and yet not quite electronic, Stone Cold Fox fall everywhere and nowhere on the spectrum to occupy a classification of their own. This was perhaps best embodied in their emphatic finisher “Sold,” where the electric elements present in the keyboard and guitars merged flawlessly with the raw vocals and punchy beat. To simply pin it down would be an injustice.
It was no easy feat to maintain the crowd’s energy on such a sleepy Tuesday night, but Stone Cold Fox certainly kept everyone in the audience—seated and standing—moving throughout the show. With their set remaining mostly faithful to their most recent release, Memory Palace, the group treated Nashville fans to the album’s undisputed crowd favorite: “Seventeen.” It sounds as angst-y, defiant, and lively as the age for which it was written, and it’s one of those songs that makes the listener feel at least ten years younger—especially when heard live.
Considering the importance of first impressions, Stone Cold Fox’s first Nashville appearance was an absolute triumph, and the rest of their weeklong stay in Music City likely won’t differ. Fans of The Strokes or Arctic Monkeys, who desire a little more in terms of instrumentals, will instantly fall in love with the diverse sound of these newcomers. With music that is simultaneously free-spirited and sharp when heard live, Stone Cold Fox is a band that brings nothing less than excellence to the stage. Regardless of where they go next, they’ve certainly made permanent fans this far south, and those of us in Nashville are eagerly awaiting their return.
Stone Cold Fox will perform once more in Nashville at Mercy Lounge on Thursday, December 11, as part of the Communion Music Holiday Showcase.
Photo by Nick Pesce
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