Monday, February 20, 2012

2011 - A year in review.

# 7. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
(Sub Pop, May 3rd 2011)


Helplessness Blues is the follow up to the amazing selftitled debut from 2008. Here we could talk about the difficult second album, but it seems like Fleet Foxes and main songwriter Robin Pecknold didn't want any of that, so they just made another amazing album. This album is a tad bit darker and moodier than the debut, but as an album it's all the better for it. It may not have any "hit-singles", but a band like Fleet Foxes doesn't need hit-singles anyway. This is a classic record. Rooted in late sixties folk and baroque pop and at the same time sounding very now-ish.

Stunning harmonies and brilliant instrumentation throughout the album. From the CSN-harmonies at the end of "Bedouin Dress" to the chamber pop of "Battery Kinzie" and the epic "The Shrine/An Argument" concluding in a free-jazz solo. 


There is a lot of moments on this album that sends my thoughts back to a lot of my favourite albums from the late sixties and early seventies. I've already mentioned CSN, others that come to mind are the likes of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. Just like the last album by Midlake, Fleet Foxes takes these inspirations and make them their own. When you hear these songs it can't be anyone but Fleet Foxes. They already have that distinct sound.

I also have to mention the fantastic cover-art. This is a full package, you almost know how the record is going to sound just by looking at the cover.

Fleet Foxes - Grown Ocean (official video)

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