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Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes

by on September 6, 2010

9.2/10

Vocal harmony is back and it’s better than ever! Not since the days of Simon and Garfunkel, The Beach Boys, and The Temptations, has vocal harmony been so appealing. And it is all thanks to the wonderfully fresh sounding vocals of the Fleet Foxes.If you have yet to hear Fleet Foxes then stop reading and go borrow it from someone, buy it, steal it, whatever it takes. If us music lovers took a pause from our clashing tastes, if we all sat down and put Fleet Foxes on, I’m pretty sure long standing controversies would come to a halt, if not for approximately 40 minutes…die hard fans of dubstep and hip-hop might actually turn their music down, mainstream and “indie” followers alike may just agree upon something, and lovers of the Oldies will embrace lovers of New Age, because Fleet Foxes hits a place that little music does, the soul.

If it has been said once, it’s been said a thousand times, music is supposed to mean something, to strike a chord, if you will, inside us. But, because we are exposed to crappy music most of our lives, we latch onto the idea that music can be idly listened to, that it can be, quoting someone close, “so wonderfully bad”, well give Fleet Foxes a chance. Not every song, every album, every band, has to get your attention instantly, sometimes music needs a few to catch you off guard and that’s exactly how this album functions.

At first it sounds like your average folk band…which in general is very hit-or-miss, but then the most beautiful, vivid, crisp voice you’ve ever heard comes through your ear-canals and you are hooked. Most people, I hope, will agree with me on that point, but if you have been as fortunate as I and you have had the greatest privilege of hearing this band live, then that’s a whole new story altogether.

Last year at Lollapalooza I happened to amble into good view of the Playstation stage. I wasn’t unfamiliar with Fleet Foxes, but I definitely wasn’t attached to them. I remember it had been off-and-on raining the whole day, at that point the rain had formed into a light drizzle; I was both hot and cold… Eventually, on came Fleet Foxes, they prepared themselves, and I remember thinking their drummer was so funny, he kept cracking the best jokes. Once my mood had been lightened they began. Their voices harmonizing in a way, until that point, I never imagined humanly possible. It wasn’t some crappy ass high school choir singing some bullshit musical song’s “harmony”, it was true harmony, and it sucked the air out of everyone’s lungs at that concert venue. Time flew by, each song melding into the next as the crowd was enthralled in the angelic tones.

The show, in hindsight, was a bit of a blur, but I can’t forget that feeling of joy I got from that concert, of feeling alive, purposeful, content with being human after seeing what we can do.

Debuting at #11 on the UK Charts –because Americans suck when it comes to mainstream music taste– the Fleet Foxes’ album Fleet Foxes gained critical acclaim for their modern take on folk-rock. Singer/songwriter Robin Pecknold fronts the Seattle based band and is backed by Christian Wargo, Skyler Skjelset, Casey Wescott, and J. Tillman, past members joining and quitting respectively.

Foxes grew a following over a few songs posted on Myspace, in the course of a few months there had been +250,000 listens; Pecknold feels that much of their success was due to “illegal file sharing”. Fleet Foxes soon starting crafting their trade and in early January, 2008 Fleet Foxes signed onto Sub Pop Records. To date Fleet Foxes have released two EPs and their self-titled album; all songs released have been catchy, beautiful, and unyielding to the ideals instilled by Fleet Foxes members.

Currently, a second album is in the works for Fleet Foxes, it was supposed to be released in 2009 but touring and people conflicts have delayed its release. The album is supposed to be less popy and more mood oriented.

Sonic

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2 Comments
  1. Nice review. I saw them at a festival too and fell in love with the CD.
    One point I would make about the Fox’s is that they really draw from Brian Wilson on a huge scale: listen to the middle section of Mykonos and the end of Can’t Wait Too Long. Nothing wrong with that but its a pity they couldn’t produce something as great as Smile…

    Last track here has the exact excerpt of “Can’t Wait Too Long”:
    http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1658572/a/Smiley+Smile/Wild+Honey.htm

    (went to check the track listing/song name there by chance, what are the odds that it would have a player positioned in just the right section?)

    Mykonos:

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