Fleet Foxes – Self Titled

by Woody on June 18, 2008

Fleet Foxes

I was at a barbecue recently and we started talking about music and their favorite albums of all time. Word got out that I was the legendary blogger from HearYa and my opinion was immediately sought out. I was drunk and had a stomach full of encased meats, so without any effort I went with my standard The White Album response. That was met with disdain and then a follow up question – What was my favorite album since 1990? Damnit! Now I actually had to think. I tossed out Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, OK Computer, Slanted & Enchanted, Decoration Day to name a few. If I had been privy Fleet Foxes’ self-titled masterpiece I would have certainly entered it into the conversation.

When I reviewed the Fleet Foxes’ Sun Giant EP, I compared them to listening to Crosby, Stills and Nash in college. Since my wife is not too keen on me buying a waterbed and/or eating mushrooms, I haven’t been able to test that comparison, but the Fleet Foxes produce a beautiful sound that washes over you and fills you with all sorts of inner peace.

They describe their sound as “baroque harmonic pop jams.” Harmonic is the key word here. While the focus during your first 3 to 4 listens is on the amazing harmonies, during subsequent listens, the beauty and perfection of the accompanying music will start to mesmerize you. Each note is there for a reason and helps accent the vocals.

I heard the song “White Winter Hymnal” prior to the release and thought that it was as close to perfect as a band could get in writing a song. I was convinced that there couldn’t be another tune on the debut that would be able to keep up. After getting the album, it only took listening to the next song, “Ragged,” to eclipse it. Other standouts include “He Doesn’t Know Why,” “Blue Ridge Mountains,” and Pecknold’s a capella “Oliver James.”

I caught these guys in Austin at SXSW 2008 after a sprint down 6th Street. Their 30 minute performance left me breathless and afterwards I introduced myself to lead singer, Robin Pecknold. I’m probably 10-15 years older than him, but there I was, gushing over him like a schoolgirl. I just had a feeling that I was meeting a future music legend.

MySpace | Sub Pop Records

Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal

Fleet Foxes – He Doesn’t Know Why

Fleet Foxes – “Oliver James” live at Schubas


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Shirk June 18, 2008 at 8:50 am

Thanks for posting these tracks. I’ve been meaning to check these guys out ever since sxsw and never got around to it. I’ve been hearing about them a lot recently. Love these tracks !

oz June 18, 2008 at 12:08 pm

This must be what heaven sounds like.

Steve Shirk June 18, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Downloaded the album from iTunes today….saaaweeeet!!

Nick June 19, 2008 at 12:13 pm

I like the Fleet Foxes better when they were called Band of Horses.
And before that, My Morning Jacket.

Steve Shirk June 24, 2008 at 1:06 pm

“Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” is just awesome. The classical guitars, the vocals…the verb! I’ve listened to this song about 50 times in the past week…studying the details…inspired every time.

I could care less if this band gives a heavy nod to BOH or MMJ. It doesn’t matter to me.

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