The half-hour of music on Ontario Gothic would seem like a slight return, but Warren Hildebrand's hushed tunes are as generous in sound and scope as ever.
Foxes in Fiction is the musical project of Toronto native Warren Hildebrand. In 2010, he had a minor cult hit with his expansive, expressionistic album Swung from the Branches. At first glance, the half-hour of music on Ontario Gothic would seem like a slight return, but Hildebrand's hushed tunes are as generous in sound and scope as ever. "March 2011" rises and spreads like morning fog on gentle keys and airy vocals. "Into the Fields" tip-toes along on plinks of keyboard, until honeyed guitars pour themselves over the track. The title track takes Hildebrand's quiet approach and gives it some sweet muscle, thickening with lush guitars and wide-open strings, creating the album's most transfixing moment. At his best, Hildebrand draws you in with a hypnotizing, methodical pace and carefully blooming melodies. But with these hazy instruments and faint vocals, there are moments like "Altars" or the brief "Amanda", that feel more like suggestions of songs than fully form songs themselves. Ontario Gothic is another solid set, but you can also feel Hildebrand finding the borders on a sound that has the potential to sound limitless.