It was June 3rd, I read a review of Fleet Foxes' self titled debut...I ran to the store to buy it. I listened to it immedietely, and I was sold. I haven't identified with a record this much since The Shins' "Wincing the Night Away". Lead vocals sung by Robin Pecknold with nostalgia and remorse, the music being carefully played by the rest of the band, but the awesome part is that the entire group is singing along with nearly all the songs; this record is perfect.
As I sat in the car, with each song flowing out of the speakers into my ears, I was in awe. How could music be this amazing? I know I sound like a teenage girl in the 1964 listening to the Beatles for the first time, but seriously, Fleet Foxes are incredible. Midway through the album at "He Doesn't Know Why", I realised that this band needs to be listened to by everyone, and that Sub Pop has done it again.
The wonderful thing about these 11 songs is that each one paints the canvas just enough to give you an idea about what it's about, but still lets your mental imagery run wild. The band, it seems, is a band next door. They talk about their brothers and sisters, their friends, and other things that come along with being from Seattle. Self described as "harmonic pop jams", you won't be suprised to know that they grew up listening to The Beach Boys, The Zombies (woohoo!) and Crosby, Stills & Nash (forget Young). Listen to this album once, and the next million times is history; Fleet Foxes, I love you.
Here's the tracklist:
- Sun It Rises -an epic tale the sunrise, 4 stars
- White Winter Hymnal -a winter tale of "the pack" with red scarves in the snow, with flawless reverb-drenched group vocals, 5 stars
- Ragged Wood -as White Winter Hymnal fades into silence, the group vocals re-enter with their boldest appearance yet. This song almost seems like 3 parts, which makes it that much more listenable, when the organ ushers in the 3rd part, it's the meaning of epic, 5 giant stars
- Tiger Mountain Peasant Song -in this song, singer Robin Pecknold is a minstrel in the 16th century wandering the streets of the Netherlands, 4 stars.
- Quiet Houses -The simple chorus-like feel, a 12 string guitar riff resonating from the 60's, the words don't seem to matter at all, one is just lost in the song, 5 stars
- He Doesn't Know Why -Listen to this song, and all you'll have words for afterwards is "wow". Telling the story of someone who's seemingly isolated themselves from family and friends, and how they are taken back to their "original mind", 5 huuuuge stars
- Heard Them Stirring -Somewhere I read the band is influenced by the background music in video games, particularly Final Fantasy, listening to this song gives creedence to this, 4 stars
- Your Protector -Flutes, epic chord progressions, strong, flawless vocals from Robin, 4 stars
- Meadowlarks -Blissful imagery of conversations with birds, a true folk ballad, 4 stars
- Blue Ridge Mountains -Sung to big brother Sean, a wonderful song that came straight from the mountains, and whose imagery is just as big as the mountains they're singing about, 5 stars
- Oliver James -Robin again becomes a poet and a minstrel from the 16th century, but this time in the streets of London, 4 stars
Flagship Song= "He Doesn't Know Why", "White Winter Hymnal", "Ragged Wood"