Not so Fleeting [Foxes]

It’s rare enough to find a group of musician’s that perform lyrically appealing tunes, it’s even more rare to find it within a unique sound. Fleet Foxes, the five-man band out of Seattle, bring to the table twice as many in-the-pocket harmonies as I’ve ever heard from any 00’s group, all accompanying a sense of poetry that is refreshing in a sea of shallow indie bands and platitude ridden beardos.

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Fleet Floxes one and only full-length LP Fleet Foxes is one mind-calming porch chill-out tune after another. Deep hall reverberated mixed vocals and folk picking combine to create an ethereal windy mountain sound.

You can’t help but visualize the images throughout the album, from the red squirrel in the morning, to the ragged wood, and the blue ridge mountains. The album satisfies a longing for a gritty folk aesthetic that has been all but lost to the bluegrass realms. You’d swear they were from western North Carolina.

Let’s dive into the wordplay with the song Ragged Wood:

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Come down from the mountain, you have been gone too long
The spring is upon us, follow my only song
Settle down with me by the fire of my yearning
You should come back home, back on your own now

The world is alive now, in and outside our home
You run through the forest, settle before the sun
Darling, I can barely remember you beside me
You should come back home, back on your own now

And even in the light, when the woman of the woods came by
To give to you the word of the old man
In the morning tide when the sparrow and the seagull fly
And Johnathan and Evelyn get tired

Lie to me if you will at the top of Beringer Hill
Tell me anything you want, any old lie will do
Call me back to you


Perhaps the only thing more difficult to make appealing to a modern ear than folk-mountain melodies is folk-mountain lyrics. Somehow Pecknold creates a setting within his verse that is just complex enough to keep one guessing and yet holds to simple solid place-names and people that give it more a sense than a literal meaning, as if it were the cryings of a bear in the woods; not incredibly eloquent or lucid, but somehow deeply meaningful.

Fleet Floxes earlier release Sun Giant EP. Picks demonstrates their essential quality.

The Title Track Sun Giant benefits from the same simplicity and bare emotion as their self-titled LP as well as employs a level of minimalism that is mesmerizing:
What a life I lead in the summer
What a life I lead in the spring
What a life I lead in the winded breeze
What a life I lead in the spring

What a life I lead when the sun breaks free
As a giant torn from the clouds
What a life indeed when that ancient seed
Is a berry watered and plowed

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Keep your eyes peeled for what this band has in store in the future. They have real potential to lead the way in new flavor of the folk genre.

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