Monday, October 19, 2020

Fleet Foxes REVIEW

Fleet Foxes is a band so intrinsically tied to their own sound that variation and experimentation might seem to contradict their own appeal. I must confess that I have not kept up with their career since 2011's Helplessness Blues. I remember first hearing that album in a long car journey with my dad, a memory that has stayed with me, their sweeping orchestral acoustic flourishes mixing with Robin Pecknold';s tender vocals, providing a great soundtrack for journeys through mountainous landscapes.

Their signature sound, a breezy, harmonic indie folk that often soars and glimmers, is at once modern and memorable as well as being reminiscent of older folk music. While Helplessness Blues contained beautiful harmonies, its core sound was one of melancholy. 

It is in this respect that their latest album, 'Shore' offers a refreshing stance. Partly created during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, Shore is an album that celebrates triumph in the face of adversity. Opening with the elegant and peaceful “Wading In Waist-High Water” (with serene vocals by Uwade Akhere) before transitioning into the climbing passion of “Sunblind” and “Can I Believe You”, the familiar gentleness of the Fleet Foxes sound is guided by a new sonic momentum.

With echoes of the most anthemic songs of Arcade Fire, the songs here have a driving energy and potency. A feeling of warding off fears that circle like vultures over lost hopes. In a later track, “Featherweight”, Pecknold sings “and with love and hate in the balance, one last way past the malice, one warm day's all I
really need.
” This line sums up the albums central theme of hard-won optimism during dark times. And, after repeated listens, these hymns become infectious.

The band still have some of the best modern harmonies and vocals this side of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Yet even with their penchant for Simon and Garfunkel delicacy, the album almost outstays its welcome, dragging out its near sixty-minute running time. Even with their new sounds and attitude here, the songs have a tendency towards repetition. Nevertheless, this album contains a freshness and effervescence bolstered both by exceptional production and Pecknold’s peerless vocals.

- Josh Lambie


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Here;