Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Sub-Pop, 2008Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2012
This is a beautiful record that I only very recently fell in love with. I had some issues with this album when it came out, and they were the worst kind of issues. The kind you internalize when you’re Music Director at a college radio station and you overthink everything to the point where you can’t even enjoy music like a regular person anymore. My problem wasn’t the band itself, not by any means. I loved their sound so much. The songs were beautiful, just the epitome of loveliness. I saw them open for Blitzen Trapper a little bit before this album came out (I think, or they were touring in support of it) and I remember seeing Robin Pecknold walking down the street as I left with a massive headache halfway through Blitzen Trapper’s set and I told him how fantastic his band sounded and how they were the epitome of loveliness and he just seemed like the sort of dude who was new at receiving compliments about his music and was really very sweet and like thanks! That still resonates with me, how just flat out fucking nice that guy was. I’m sure he still is that nice, and really, listen to this music, how could people that made music with this much beauty and passion be dicks? I mean, I know it happens but I choose to ignore it and just live in my blissfully ignorant world where everyone is cool. So anyway, my problem with the record was all the insane press it got like this was the second coming. Like Fleet Foxes were single handedly saving music. And I thought that was just way off. I thought the music was so gorgeous and sounded like it was straight out of mid-century Appalacia or something but that was just it, it sounded old and I have a hard time really rewarding stuff that is basically doing a magnificent job at doing something that has already been done. It’s the same way I get annoyed when every actor up for the best actor/actress Oscar is getting nominated for a biopic. There just seems to be so much more in doing something new. But now that doesn’t matter, not with this album. It’s just so achingly lovely that all of that critical mumbo jumbo can be left at the curb for the garbage man (assuming it’s under 50 pounds, otherwise you’re gonna have to haul it to the dump yourself). There’s a purity to this album that I didn’t see the first time around. There’s so much joy in it, and though it is fiercely controlled, it never feels restrained. It’s wild and free and all that. A testament to capital F Folk music. It’s not art, it just is, and really I think that’s more important and an answer to why I can put this record on any time, any place, and dig on it.