Two years ago I was introduced to this band, Fleet Foxes. I hated them. No, I didn’t hate them, I loathed them and then I hated them. Honestly, the most feverish and extreme peer pressure could not get me to like this band. Pay me 20 bucks to listen to one of their songs and of course I would take it, but I would hate every minute of it. They were too “indie” for their own good in my opinion and even though they arrived on the scene to great admiration and gained massive amounts of “indie cred” very quickly I wasn’t ready to play for their team. It was too much of the same thing. I guess you could say I didn’t get it. I didn’t get the ridiculous amounts reverb, un-human harmonies, it bordered on something awesome maybe, but it drove me crazy and I left it alone. I think it was to calm. I definitely couldn’t put my finger on it as you can see. (Those of you reading my blogs if you bring up Lord Huron, which is basically what I just described I will cut you down like a big tree. Hold you’re horses. I’m getting to my point.)
It’s impossible for people to like all music and be agreeable that everything they listen to is pure gold. People can also change and their tastes can change, and mine has. “Helplessness Blues” is the newest offering from indie darlings Fleet Foxes and it’s excellent with a capitol EXCEL. There I said it. The record will be on shelves tomorrow and I’ll be in line to buy it.
Fleet Foxes – Bedouin Dress
Yes this record has all the great sweeping, airy and earthy harmonies the Foxes have come to be known for. “Helplessness Blues” also has a great subtly to it which is what drew me back to this band in the first place. Its gentle. It’s sweet and quiet. I guess I would go so far as to say it is clear, whatever that means. The light acoustic guitar tones, shakers, loose snares, insanely reverbed guitars all compliment the vocals which are the star of the show. I smell a title track…
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
The lyrics are breathy and remind me of a young Crosy, Stills and Nash living in Laurel Canyon enjoying nature and the earth. I don’t want to call these guys hippies because I wouldn’t wish that title on my worst enemy, but the songs have a very organic and “hippy-ish” feel to them so I guess I’ll leave it at that. In this case its not a bad thing because these songs are lyrically complex and they paint vivid pictures in my mind. More popular bands these days seem to write their lyrics with crayons while Fleet Foxes are in the middle of the woods writing with new quill pens they plucked from a goose at an organic farm in upstate New York. That was a stupid statement, but my point is they are great lyricists and it shows on this record.
Fleet Foxes – Lorelai
I’ll end this by saying sometimes its good to take a break from certain things. When you come back to them, which is the case here, you have a new appreciation for it. It took me two years to listen to Fleet Foxes again and I’m glad I did. I now trust the thousands of people who help sell out every Fleet Foxes show, they are there for a good reason.
I went back and listened to their debut self titled release and I didn’t hate that either. As for the band I hope they read this (they won’t) and breathe a sigh of relief because they gained at least one fan with this new release. For my preachy moment of the week I’ll say go into your iTunes library or whereever and pull something up that you think you hated 2 years ago and listen to it again. You might just like it. Especially if it’s Fleet Foxes.
As always here’s the last track from Fleet Foxes newest release (due out tomorrow 5/3/11) “Helplessness Blues”.
Fleet Foxes – Grown Ocean
Fleet Foxes are currently on tour although it looks like every show is virtually sold out. Tour Page is HERE if you need proof. They are playing the Pitchfork Festival this summer in Chicago as well.
You can pre-order “Helplessness Blues” HERE. (or just wait ’till tomorrow and buy it.
By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC