Timing is everything, as any musician will tell you, and for Louisa Allen, aka Foxes, the time to make her second album — difficult enough at the best of times, cliché has it — came when she was a little out of sorts.
“I was feeling more hurt than I’d ever been before,” says the 26-year-old from Southampton, who has also modelled in Vogue and for H&M, “so the album’s very emotional. I didn’t expect that.”
All I Need is the follow-up to her 2014 debut, Glorious, which spawned three top 20 singles. She began the year with a Grammy for her vocal on 'Clarity', by the DJ/producer Zedd — one of those EDM bangers that earworms you even if you never listen to dance music — and ended it with a jazz-blues version of Queen’s 'Don’t Stop Me Now', recorded for an episode of Doctor Who set on a future Orient Express, a terrible notion on paper but really the loveliest next three minutes you will spend on YouTube.
In between came a support slot on Pharrell Williams’ European arena tour, which she secured after he heard her cover of 'Happy' on Radio 1. Then last year, she set a Guinness world record by playing seven UK cities in 12 hours to promote 'Body Talk', the first single from All I Need.
This year, she embarks on a less frenetic headline tour playing the new songs, which are a moodier, meaner upgrade of the pop tracks that helped make her name.
Sadly, the hurt with which she forged them caused her to disregard one important consideration: “I don’t know how I’m going to sing these songs live, actually.”
All I Need is out on 5 February; Foxes tours the UK and Ireland from 23 February–12 March