Penn State’s campus is full of talented, young minds that are, to no one’s surprise, finding their way to success early-on. Sophomore Shawn Fox is one of those people. The Philly-native released his debut album “Apricity” on iTunes just last month on October 26. Since then, the alt-pop musician has been kicking it back, basking in the glory of the positive responses and immense support from family, friends, and fans.
A business major, Fox intends to focus on marketing within the record label industry. He was always passionate about music from an early age. In third grade, Fox was gifted his own drum set and hasn’t skipped a beat in his relationship with music since. The self-taught musician continued on, gaining more equipment and getting involved with bands during middle school. Music was always on the horizon but it wasn’t until his junior year of high school that Fox became serious about songwriting.
“Ever since I was younger, I always wanted to release an album. As of recent, a lot of these ideas started coming together and I wanted to really do it,” says Fox. “The time was right.”
Last year, Fox was given the opportunity to perform during THON in the Bryce Jordan Center, giving his music exposure to his largest audience yet. He was accompanied on that stage just by his acoustic guitar, but however, on Apricity, Fox incorporates several instruments. Some of these include percussion, bass and even the ukulele, recording live or using instrumental effects through a software program.
The album is real and raw, with most of the themes about losing and gaining relationships — precisely the concept behind the album title. Apricity is defined as “the warmth of the sun,” connecting the changes in the seasons to the changes that occur throughout life.
“Even though sometimes you’re in the worst of times, there’s always that sense of hope,” says Fox. “The sun will rise and spring will come.”
His music knows no age borders, with lyrics that are relatable and can resonate with every individual, young or old. The album’s energy is exemplified by the intro “In Stride,” featuring strong, soul baring vocals and an uplifting melody, hinting influences of bands like Twenty One Pilots and OneRepublic. Each track has its distinct sound, as Fox is adamant about integrating a range of different styles. For example, folky vibes are heard throughout another track titled “Birds.” The rest of the album follows suit, weaving together layers of poppy instrumentation, with plenty of slow-building crescendo and powerful lyricism.
Fox admits that he’ll be back to working on the next project, with hopes to release another album later down the road. As for now, he’s been riding out the post-album release high and couldn’t be more grateful to his fans.
“Without people listening and being so supportive, I obviously could not have done this. I could not be more thankful for how accepting everyone has been.”
Give it a listen: Fox’s album “Apricity” is available now on iTunes.