I am admittedly a huge fan of alt-country, folk, baroque pop, whatever the hell you want to call it. I love it. With that being said its probably no surprise that I am a huge fan of Fleet Foxes. The music on their Sun Giant EP and their eponymous debut that followed closely was some of the best of the year. Both albums have such a laid back, feel good vibe and some of the best vocal harmonies this side of CSNY.
Their newest album, Helplessness Blues, is out today and I could not have been more excited to get a hold of the first single, the title track “Helplessness Blues.” Fans of Fleet Foxes’ previous work won’t be disappointed by this track. It features similar acoustic strumming and the dual singing that has made them popular but singer Robin Pecknold seems to be reaching for something deeper and a little more existential this time around. “Grown Ocean,” the albums second single, feels more urgent than anything they have done in the past, as if they are frantically searching for the answer to some important question. This is as close to a rock n’ roll song as Fleet Foxes have ever come.
Somehow these songs sound bigger and more solid than their previous work. After hearing this music I can understand a little easier why it put so much strain on Pecknold’s relationship. He and his girlfriend of five years broke up over the stress.
I always want my favorite bands to grow as artists but be able to keep some of what made me like them in the first place. On these two tracks Fleet Foxes have found a way to delve into new, headier territory but were able to keep their signature sound at the same time.
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Fleet Foxes – Grown Ocean