Friday, October 3, 2008

Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes' debut full length album is a pleasant, folksy good time. It doesn't really reach the heights that some more intense bands do, but the combination of good acoustic guitar work, alternately catchy and haunting vocal harmonies, and unique song structures make for a record really worth listening too. The hippie-looking Robin Pecknold is probably the band's driving force, writing all the lyrics and taking charge with the vocals, but you get the feeling they just like playing together as a group and working together to create one memorable sound. I had heard that this album was one of the year's best indie releases, and decided to check the video for "White Winter Hymnal" on Youtube. I was a bit surprised by what I was hearing, because it doesn't sound like something from this year at all, but still captivated by it, and I shortly found out that this same thought carried throughout each of the tracks.

From the near prog-like constant shift in pace of "Sun it Rises" to the solitary howling at the end of "Oliver James", every song does something unique while still fitting the band's central feeling. I almost feel like I've heard some of these before, and I'm sure that's partly because it's hard to come up with unique music these days, but that quality of familiarity is part of its appeal to me. It's hard to really describe what makes each song good, because it's never a single hook or element, it's always the sum of the parts. Some favorites are "Ragged Wood", "Quite Houses", "Your Protector", and "Blue Ridge Mountains". It's really one of those albums that has to be listened to as one experience and not a bunch of disparate tracks to throw on your iPod's shuffle. Although "White Winter Hymnal" is still pretty awesome by itself.

No comments: