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It's 'A Changing of the Guard,' the first single from a new album for the Portland folk duo.

COURTESY PHOTO: AMANDALA PHOTOGRAPHRY - Sarah Vitort and Scott Gilmore, aka Fox and Bones, have been off the road for a year, but they have new music coming out.It's not a news flash to anybody: A great many things have transpired in the past year, from social justice protests to the COVID-19 pandemic to the changing of a president.

It's now 2021, and many people want to move on, including Sarah Vitort and Scott Gilmore, the Portland folk-pop duo known as Fox and Bones. No wonder they will be releasing the first single from their upcoming album, titled "A Changing of the Guard," on Friday, Feb. 19.

They call it "an anthem for the irrationally hopeful and a message that it's never too late to make a positive change for yourself and your community."

Despite not being able to play live and having to scrap four European tours, Sarah and Scott have been breathing a sigh of relief — 2021 brings hope for them.

"We all felt the pressure building up over the past few years and, collectively, what we're going through as a community and a country," said Gilmore, who lives in Portland and is a Martinez, California, native who attended the University of Oregon. "The song has some political undertones, but it's about the personal changing of the guard, responsibility for yourself to be happy and live a life that is free of stress and high expectations. To allow each of us to live as healthy and happy of a life as we can. Allow joy in."

Added Vitort, a Vancouver, Washington, native who now lives in Camas: "Our Fox and Bones message is one of hope and unity. We have personal political beliefs, but we found it important that, because we travel across the country and in the world, to see the person and not the politics. Love yourself, but be willing to hear others."

Fox and Bones will put out their third full-length album, "American Alchemy," in May. Vitort and Gilmore met more than five years ago — "I was doing some harmless internet stalking of her," Gilmore said — and started writing songs together and "the chemistry felt natural," he added. They were both in rock bands at the time, and it was a nice change-up to play folk music.

They co-founded and curate the Portland Folk Festival, which had to be postponed in 2021 but will return for three days of music in 2022 at the Crystal Ballroom (hopefully).

"We've played all over the world at this point," Vitort said. "Until COVID hit, we were touring regularly, nine months a year."

The two admit that it's not been terribly upsetting to not be touring or putting on the Portland Folk Festival. They have created music, and "our minds and bodies have a chance to rest and recoup," Gilmore said.

It also has given them time to start Our Custom Song, in which they create songs for people and couples. Vitort said the wedding business looks promising for Our Custom Song; in the meantime, the song gram business has been good, so far.

They'll enjoy their new release this week, their album coming out in May, and early 2022 looks like the first possibility to tour again.

"We've also built up a solid network of house shows, where you play in backyards or houses," Gilmore said. "People enjoy that there is something to watch and listen to."

For more, see their website

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