I started to write a post about Radiohead the other day. I swear it had a point, but there was this long-ass preamble that included a lot of dismissive curmudgeonly passive aggressive grandstanding. At one point the post veered into talking about R.E.M. and it got even more insufferable. I killed it. I don't think I've done a post in a long time that has simply been about something that I love, so instead I'm going to talk about the Fleet Foxes. To wit:
I haven't stopped listening to the new Fleet Foxes song, "Helplessness Blues" since it was released a few weeks ago. I tweeted the other day—"saxophone is my kryptonite but harmonies are my yellow sun." As surely as a smooth sax might antagonize me, so too does a great harmony soothe me. It's why I like Low, why I like Midlake's Trials of Van Occupanther, why I like the Byrds and the Beach Boys, why I like the Fleet Foxes.
That's not the be-all end-all, of course. I like the way the song is put together—basically two songs spliced into one. That's sort of a "Fleet Foxes thing," isn't it? They did it a couple times on their debut, too. "Ragged Wood" shifts into a second movement halfway through, and a few of their other songs feature little preludes or codas that are otherwise unrelated.
It's been more months than I count since a new album has come along and really taken hold of all my listening time—the kind of record that compels you to put it on no matter what you're doing, what else you've purchased, whatever your mood. The last Fleet Foxes album did that for me. I'm hoping the next will, too.
- Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues
In an act of total fanboyism, here are some bonus goodies since you've probably already heard this song, assuming you wanted to in the first place. First: a couple years ago someone in the comments to another post here clued me in on the band's original, pre-Sub Pop EP from 2006, which also happens to be self-titled so it's kinda tough to track down on the internet. Most of it is only okay—whatever your opinion of Robin Pecknold's lyrics, let it be known that his worst lyrics were on this debut. However there was one track that I fell in love with which foretold where they would go with their later material.
- Fleet Foxes: Icicle Tusk
Second: I was surfing around YouTube and came across this short documentary on Pecknold's solo tour last year, which is quiet and lovely. If you've never seen it, enjoy.