September 4, 2008

Fleet Foxes: Self-Titled

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Although the genre doesn’t officially exist, please file Fleet Foxes under Nature Rock. The album is worldly, folksy and progressive. Listening to it makes the thought of escaping into the woods with nothing but your own self seem perfectly okay. Upon listening, one’s reaction is not expressedly happy but rather almost transcendental, becoming extremely cognizant and resulting in a reflection of your surroundings — possibly Emerson and Thoreau’s perfect soundtrack for a trip to Walden Pond. While each song is flawlessly composed, the sounds exude an aura that the five band members simply allowed their instruments to take them on a pathless jam session, which led to the most heavenly waterfall of music in the entire world.
The vocal harmonies, the melodic guitars, even the tambourines are utterly ear warming. Fleet Foxes is Badly Drawn Boy’s The Hour of Bewilderbeast nearly a decade grown up, or a less depressed, more tree-hugging Bon Iver. Lead singer/songwriter Robin Pecknold sings and his words rule. “Come down from the mountain you have been gone too long … you should come back home, back on your own now!” he commands on the track “Ragged Wood.” Any hiker would already be halfway down said mountain at the sound of the impeccably pitched hymn-like “whoaaas” that follow.
Fleet Foxes debut full-length was released at the start of June and has been growing in popularity all summer, but will find a cozy home in constant play once winter approaches. The first song to find success, “White Winter Hymnal” could even make a Cornellian excited for winter. As the snow starts falling, if you’re not listening to Fleet Foxes, then the only other reasonable thing to hear is silence.