Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
Record Label: Sub Pop
Release Date: June 3, 2008
A dark forest is awoken and illuminated by the day's sunrise, as the birds chirp away and the animals come out and live. This is a calm and tranquil forest inhabited only by the animals who live there, and Fleet Foxes. Their self-titled LP holds a special value of production, such a placelessness, which allows a more rustic, more natural and vintage feel to come to the album than would otherwise be possible. Using such a reverb and or sepia tone is a major plus to this album, and allows the vocals of Robin Pecknold, Nicholas Peterson, Casey Wescott, and Craig Curran to shine through. Not excluded are the guitars of Pecknold, Skyler Skjelset, the bass played by Curran, the keyboards by Wescott, the drums and percussion executed wonderfully by Peterson, and the small amount of flute by Gwen Owen on the track "Your Protector."
While the LP so obviously draws influence from folk, acoustic, '60s rock, baroque pop, and several other genres, the band puts together these genres into a welcoming amalgam that works beautifully when it comes to making aural pleasure.
Such gems as "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" is a lovely piece that features voice and a lone acoustic guitar. The ambiguous lyrics that trigger visions of fairy-tales blend beautifully with the vocals which switch to a falsetto at the end. “Your Protector” is easily the most intense and emotional piece on the album, including the regular instruments expected from the quintet and Owen's delightful nuances via flute.
Throughout this album I can only think of wandering throughout the woods. The phrase “All who wander are not lost” really comes into play, as Peterson's skills behind the kit and with his hefty amount of percussion act as a guide throughout the tracks, and seem to keep the frequently changing, however coherent (which is always a plus) musicianship. As the album unravels, the songs do occasionally blend together, but with such standouts as “Oliver James,” Pecknold's emotion and passion segue beautifully into the track, which holds a ring of nostalgia. The lyrics here shine, as he sings about old tables, grandfathers, and as he continues to construct these ambiguous lyrics, the album is over. It's obvious by the end that Fleet Foxes are up in arms to create new music, that hopefully will not disappoint. This album sure didn't.