Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Who let the fox out?

There’s no escape from the pop earworm of the year

The men behind the fox: Ylvis

Fri, Oct 11, 2013, 09:53


Warning: once you hear it, you cannot unhear it. We talk of Ylvis and “The Fox”. This song from Norwegian brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker poses a question which many people were obviously very curious about. We know what dogs, cats, elephants, cows and a plethora of other animals say, but what does that fox who is sulking around your garden in search of scraps say?

It seems that modern pop earworms are built on such existential questions. The Ylvisåker brothers wrote and recorded the song to promote the new season of their Tonight With Ylvis show on TVNorge, but never imagined for a moment that it would reach the current levels of acclaim and popularity. A-ha’s position as biggest Norwegian pop exports is now in danger.

At the time of writing, the video has been viewed 80 million times on YouTube so we’re probably on the road to a “Gangnam Style” takeover. Add in the usual array of reaction videos, parodies and the Ohio University Marching Band doing a fine version during a recent Bobcats’ home game and you’re fastforwarding into the viral stratosphere.

What’s interesting about “The Fox” is that it’s produced by Stargate. The Norwegian pop hit factory, who have worked with everyone from Rihanna and Beyonce to Katy Perry and Samantha Mumba, got involved as payback for a favour which Ylvis had done for them. Suddenly, Stargate have another monster hit on their CV, which should help attract even more clients.

Of course, the main problem with viral hits is that it’s quite hard for the acts involved to follow things up. Do you know any other Psy hits, for instance? Or any OK Go tunes which don’t involve videos on treadmills? For now, then, Ylvis should enjoy their time in the viral sun.