Artist – Album: Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Released: 3rd June 2008
Sounds Like: Getting my kicks with beardy folksters
Yesterday, I joined a few of my old workmates in a beer garden in the glorious sunshine for a nice mid-afternoon pint. Unbeknownst to me, the meeting would lead to one of the most exciting developments of my hitherto benign existence – we’re going to drive along the length of Route 66! To strengthen the conviction that that wasn’t just a drunken pronouncement (which I do rattle out on a weekly basis) we quickly wound up in Trailfinders travel agents, speaking to Chris-the-dude-with-the-unusual-AmeriManc-accent figuring out the logistics and booking dates. Actual dates. Chicago, St Louis, Oklahoma, Albuquerque, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Los Angeles. Route 66 takes in a plethora of iconic locations and is steeped in American folklore and tradition.
Today’s album, Fleet Foxes’ self titled debut, is also wreathed in glorious Americana, although its focus is away from dust bowl desert and bright light cities and set square on snow capped mountains and dense redwood forests. Majestic paeans such as ‘White Winter Hymnal’ and ‘Meadowlarks’ sound ancient, like they’ve been passed down through generations of inbred hill people. Elsewhere, tracks such as ‘Quiet Houses’ and ‘Heard Them Stirring’ betray the group’s magpie-ing of classic rock and indie influences, whilst still remaining fresh and original.
Rather than concentrating on individual songs though, the real beauty here is in the piece as a whole. Like the album artwork itself, the album is rich, ornate and beguiling, with meticulous detail and something different to catch your eye/ear with each wonderful listen.
Albumaday... rating: 10/10
1. Sun It Rises – 3:14
2. White Winter Hymnal – 2:27
3. Ragged Wood – 5:07
4. Tiger Mountain Peasant Song – 3:28
5. Quiet Houses – 3:32
6. He Doesn’t Know Why – 3:20
7. Heard Them Stirring – 3:02
8. Your Protector – 4:09
9. Meadowlarks – 3:11
10. Blue Ridge Mountains – 4:25
11. Oliver James – 3:23
Listen to ‘White Winter Hymnal ’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrQRS40OKNE
Also released on the 3rd June:
1977: Bob Marley & the Wailers - Exodus