On November 12, 2023, singer-songwriter Kylie Fox performed at the Sackville Legion as the final stop of her East Coast Fun Dip Tour. This show marked a reunion of sorts for the musician, a culmination of years of development and new music since her graduation from Mt. A in 2018.
Currently based in Fredericton, NB, Fox’s journey to where she stands today is a fascinating one, notable in her success: cross-country performances, the release of her most recent album Green in 2020, and her newest single “Confetti” released in January this year. Her upcoming album Sequoia is also in the works. Speaking with Fox is strangely familiar. Her story, and the Indie-folk style she implements in her music, which also fuses jazz and alternative rock, tap into an experience shared by many listeners in this part of the world. This singer has definitely not forgotten her roots.
In our conversation, Fox painted the picture of a childhood surrounded by music and community. “I grew up with music,” she shares. “My dad is a huge Joni Mitchell fan […] he was also the youngest of nine siblings. So [at] all of our family parties, we would all have the guitars out; it was like a ‘Fox Family Kitchen Party.’ So I grew up witnessing him at the helm of this family jam. And then, you know, you grow up on stage and get used to the feeling of applause, which was dangerous for a little girl,” she laughs.
Fox graduated from Mt. A in 2018. During that time she released her Balcony EP (2017) and deeply involved herself in music and theatre. Her journey included acceptance into the musical organization Conduct Becoming, supporting emerging artists and cancer research: “I did Conduct Becoming for four years in a row and I remember the first time I got in it was such a big deal […] because you have to audition. [That was] the first time I ever had my music recorded.” One of her songs from this period will be re-recorded on her upcoming album Sequoia. “I wrote the song when I was 20, and now I re-recorded it at 27. It is really cool to compare the quality of my voice and how I was feeling the song, compared to how I am looking at it now.”
Fox shared with me her journey of developing her musical voice and love for theatre at the University, of sneaking into the Marjorie Young Bell Conservatory late at night to practice and slowly watching a town change around her. “I think [for] anyone who starts their journey in Sackville, by the time they leave, Sackville has changed.” This melancholic nostalgia was the topic of her aptly-titled 2017 song, “Sackville.” “When I had my album release show at Ducky’s that following year […] I sang the song and someone was up front and she knew every single word. I didn’t know this girl […] I will always think of her and that moment, the first time someone was singing along to a song.”
“I just feel like Sackville is a Neverland,” Fox adds. “If you did not have a vehicle you just watched the highway and you were like ‘someone take me away!’ but […] I think without Mt. A I really do not know if I would have pursued songwriting as a career, just based on the cool people that were there at the time I was there who were writing songs.”
Change is inevitable — something Fox understands in her work. The song was inspired in large part by the 2015 demolition of the historical Sackville United Church: “It was almost like Sackville’s landmark […] a gathering place, a community place.” Yet despite the mourning of something forever changed, as the lyrics go, “Nobody expected we would go downhill, but I love you, and you love me the same, and I always will be glad I came to Sackville”.
Since her time in Sackville, Fox’s music has continued to grow, her current musical topics expanding to include underlying themes of gratitude, while exploring diverse ideas of relationships, gender politics, climate change, lost loved ones, and more. But throughout it all she remains true to her past. You can learn more about Fox’s past and future music by visiting www.Kyliefox.ca.