Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (Album)

Narrowly avoided travesty number two was my almost non-purchase of this album, it was only thanks (or not) to the return of Lord Skywave's disappointing CD that it came into my posession (and life). Fleet Foxes have created an album of breathtaking beauty formed of the simplest elements, softly played instruments and extraordinary male harmonies. 'Sun It Rises' opens the record with a striking accapella which segues into gently picked accoustic guitar and softly beaten drums which, whilst lovely, is only accompaniment to the chorus that is so strongly sung it is impossible not to be moved. The second song, 'White Winter Hymnal', begins with an ethereal, emotional harmony that deepens and flourishes until i feel that my heart is swelling so much that it might burst in my chest, the song makes me want to smile through tears of sadness and weep with joy and is probably my favourite track. It's only short and the ending arrives so soon as to almost be a disappointment but then 'Ragged Wound' strikes up in a much livelier fashion and urges you to continue listening. This is part of the reason it's such an absorbing album, despite the individual tracks being easy to pick out as favourites they are sewn together with other less attention grabbing songs to create an atmosphere that calls to mind frosty nights spent around a log fire singing to the moon as it rises high and proud beind the snow tipped conifers and looming mountains. Considering this music is made by my gruff looking men with ruffled beards and lumberjack coats and songs called 'Tiger Mountain Peasant Song' and 'Meadowlarks', it's not too difficult to believe. The artwork also deserves a mention here, it's a copy of a work called 'The Blue Cloak' and investigating all of the characters and their medieval antics is a great way to entertain your eyes whilst your ears are busy listening.

This is yet another recommendation from the oracle of good taste that is Crazy Dave (he dragged me to see them a few weeks ago) and i am extremely grateful, it's easy to ignore hyped bands that are described as country/americana/folk but not only do Fleet Foxes fall into all of these categories they manage to craft something so much more engaging. I almost decided not to post a song from this album as it might lose some of its magic when taken out of context of the album, one way to test this is to see if listening to 'White Winter Hymnal' makes all the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. If it does i'd suggest buying the album, if it doesn't i'd still suggest buying the album so that you can hear it amongst the other songs where it belongs.

Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal

No comments: