With a catchy collection of harmonic pop jams, Fleet Foxes present their hauntingly beautiful, critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. Blissfully bringing together elements of ageless folk and classic rock, this Seattle-based outfit deliver a satisfying and self-assured release that conjures alluring images of sun-soaked mountains and serene waters within a refined mix of simple guitar shapes, breezy melodies, and mysteriously calm vocals.
Fleet Foxes formed in 2006 when frontman Robin Pecknold assembled a group of like-minded musicians to create earthy, harmony-rich sounds that harked back to the likes of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and The Beach Boys. With Fleet Foxes, the band has successfully amalgamated their influences, whilst creating their own distinct sound. Delicate in its production, the album often seems to consist of nothing but voices, with 21-year-old Robin Pecknold's rich, emotive, and character-filled tones releasing mortality-ridden, pastoral-like lyrics and hushed chants that demand attention. As the rest of the band draw in around Pecknold, with sombre strings and devoted drum formations, tracks such as 'White Winter Hymnal' and 'Meadowlarks' rise into the air with rolling thunder rhythms and release a spectacular sense of euphoric grandeur. The dizzying four-part harmonies that spread through joyful, elemental tracks such as 'Tiger Mountain Peasant Song' and 'Ragged Wood', are also interspersed within the darker, heavier, and chilling tales of 'Your Protector' and 'Oliver James'. Shrouded in solemn tones, these haunting tracks lead you to the album's painted world of ghostly forests, leaping animals, and secular tragedies.
From the opening chants of 'Sun It Rises', Fleet Foxes invokes a unified sense of mood. Instead of plaguing the album with overcomplicated rhythm sections, the band has opted to use simple and organic structures that hold your attention and tantalise the senses. Captivating from beginning to end, this delightful debut casts an immeasurable musical spell that, much like the work of the artists who have inspired it, will be returned to again and again, and hold its own as an instant classic.