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Fleet Foxes

4.4 out of 5 stars 294 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Seattle's Fleet Foxes traffic in baroque harmonic pop. They draw influences from the traditions of folk, pop, choral, gospel, sacred harp singing, West Coast music, traditional music from Ireland to Japan, film scores, and their NW peers. The subject matter ranges from the natural world and familial bonds to bygone loves and stone cold graves.

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It's now twenty years since grunge emerged from then culturally isolated Seattle and Fleet Foxes, the eponymous debut album from the city's latest heroes, demonstrates just how much American independent rock has mutated in that time. The five young members of Fleet Foxes make up a very different sort of rock band, describing their own music as "baroque harmonic pop jams". Even that understates the depths of the quintet's effortless vocal harmonies and gently woozy, folky feel. Of their contemporaries only the enigmatic Midlake and My Morning Jacket at their most fragile come close, but neither could have cooked up the Beach Boys spiritual of "White Winter Hymnal" or its more powerful companion piece "Ragged Wood". In fact Fleet Foxes happily admit to aspiring to an earlier tradition--not just obvious antecedents like the Byrds, the Association, Neil Young and, especially, David Crosby's famously unfocussed solo album If Only I Could Remember My Name but ancient English folk songs and their later American descendents. All were hunted and gathered from the internet--songwriters Robin Pecknold and Skye Skjelset are barely in their twenties. Add a host of unlikely instruments and the results are stunning, the complete antithesis of mainstream stadium indie that has followed Arcade Fire. Still, the cover features a Bruegel painting of peasants that might have graced any Black Sabbath sleeve. In that way at least Fleet Foxes salute a local tradition. -—Steve Jelbert
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 3, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • ASIN: B0017R5UAA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,586 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 4, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The Fleet Foxes are a rock band that sounds like no other -- imagine a pastoral choir overwhelming a sweeping folk-rock band, in the middle of a sunlit forest in the spring.

That's about the sound of the Fleet Foxes' self-titled debut album -- it's a stream of lush, jangly folk pop, edged with a touch of baroque and country-rock. While their "Sun Giant" EP was an excellent introduction, it's nothing compared to the rough-edged grandeur of the full-length album, with its glorious instrumentation and vivid lyricism.

The only really offputting part of the album is the opening five seconds, when an off-key chorale sings, "Reeeeed squirrel in the morning/Reeeeeeeed squirrel in the evening..."

Then the song suddenly melts into a gentle acoustic guitar shimmering with keyboard. "The sun rises, over my head/Hold me dear, into the night/Sun it will rise soon in the morn..." Robin Pecknold sings with all the solemnity of a choirboy. His voice soars over the steelier riffs and thumping drums, only to settle down with, "The sun rising, dangling there/Golden and fair, in the sky..."

Wow. When an intro is that lovely, just imagine what the songs that follow are going to be like.

In this case, it's the shifting folky "White Winter Hymnal," with its kettle drums and beautiful campfire harmonies ("I was following... I was following... I was following the pack/all swallowed in their coats/with scarves of red tied 'round their throats"), followed by the endearingly energetic rocker "Ragged Wood" ("You should come back home/back on your own now!").

It gets no less endearing after that: Gentle bluesy ballads, jangly folk-pop with lots of squiggly mellotron, sweeping pop chorales, bouncy countryish rockers with lots of intertwined guitars.
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Format: Audio CD
I heard something on WXPN that stirred me from my coffee and newspaper, but all I caught aside from the almost shape note singing was the name Fleet Foxes. Then someone I've been sharing musical knowledge with put in quite a few good words regarding this and Sun Giants. I eventually got around to picking this up at the local independant music store. I played it through a couple times and threw it on the pile. Then I started hearing it in the distance. A soft baroque chiming in the back of my head. Not the Zombies not Procol Harum nor Left Banke. Oddly rootsy. Sad like the last days of Summer. I ended giving it my full attention and played it over and over with special attention to Hymnal.
It was then I realized that they were the Beach Boys of Winter.
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Format: Audio CD
The Fleet Foxes are a rock band that sounds like no other -- imagine a pastoral choir overwhelming a sweeping folk-rock band, in the middle of a sunlit forest in the spring.

That's about the sound of the Fleet Foxes' self-titled debut album -- it's a stream of lush, jangly folk pop, edged with a touch of baroque and country-rock. While their "Sun Giant" EP serves as an excellent prologue (and is included as a bonus disc in the "Special Edition"), it's nothing compared to the rough-edged grandeur of the full-length album, with its glorious instrumentation and vivid lyricism. It's a stunning little composition.

The only really offputting part of the album is the opening five seconds, when an off-key chorale sings, "Reeeeed squirrel in the morning/Reeeeeeeed squirrel in the evening..."

Then the song suddenly melts into a gentle acoustic guitar shimmering with keyboard. "The sun rises, over my head/Hold me dear, into the night/Sun it will rise soon in the morn..." Robin Pecknold sings with all the solemnity of a choirboy. His voice soars over the steelier riffs and thumping drums, only to settle down with, "The sun rising, dangling there/Golden and fair, in the sky..."

Wow. When an intro is that lovely, just imagine what the songs that follow are going to be like.

In this case, it's the shifting folky "White Winter Hymnal," with its kettle drums and beautiful campfire harmonies ("I was following... I was following... I was following the pack/all swallowed in their coats/with scarves of red tied 'round their throats"), followed by the endearingly energetic rocker "Ragged Wood" ("You should come back home/back on your own now!").
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I picked up this CD on a whim when seeing it in the "Customers Also Bought These Items" when looking at a Decemberists CD. At first, the CD did not speak to me, with the exception of White Winter Hymnal, and the songs generally sounded the same. After about 3 listens through however, I had achieved a greater appreciation for the melodies that had been sewn into this LP, and some of them stuck in my head for days (especially Ragged Wood). The vocals are outstanding, reminding me at times of the band America, but Fleet Foxes are also able to invoke elaborate mental images of train whistles and wind with their harmonization. Many of the songs are written in a progressive style, and at times you may think you are on a different track number than you actually are, but Fleet Foxes don't miss a beat in delivering an altogether solid album from start to finish.
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