Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Chalky's Choice: Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

Entering the UK album chart at number 11 this week, new comers Fleet Foxes are giving a “whatsup wave” to the industry biggies just ahead of them such as Coldplay, Duffy, Neil Diamond, Paul Weller and The Fratelis. This is all the more impressive when you notice that L.A. rockers Weezer charted at only number 21 this week with their new album. Either Fleet Foxes are being majorly hyped (not really - just the same old Duffy and Lil Wayne posters everywhere in London), they've been given a load of great reviews to encourage something new and different into the music world or they are actually pretty good.

I have to admit on the first listen their sound didn't really grab me and I have read of similar reactions time and time again in reviews. Additionally, at 39 mins and 11 secs long, blink and you’ll miss this album.

The lyrics to the first track 'Sun It Rises' set the tone for the rest of the album with a country, blues, folk and gospel sound not unlike a song you'd expect to find on the ‘O Brother Where art Thou’ soundtrack.


Lyrics from ‘Sun It Rises’:

Red squirrel in the morning,

Red squirrel in the evening,

Red squirrel in the morning, I'm coming to take you home.

The sun rises, over my head.

In the morning, when the

Hold me dear, into the night.

Sun it will rise soon in the

The sun rising, dangling there

Golden and fair, in the sky.”


After many listens, I can confirm this album is definitely a grower. Their infectious sweet harmonies, compared in many reviews to The Beach Boys and Crosby Stills and Nash, are the main draw for me. Great finger picking, acoustic guitar rhythms mix it up with mandolins, flutes, dulcimers and kotos in addition to the requisite keyboards and pianos all form part of an unique, organic sound that is Fleet Foxes. The use of echo on the vocals creates a feeling of presence which then lends itself to blending back nicely into the harmonies. On times, I can even hear a slight similarity in sound to Chris Martins (Coldplay) vocals.


Album Highlights:

White Winter Hymnal

Sun It Rises

Tiger Mountain Peasant Song


Album Lowlights:

Heard Them Stirring

Who Are Fleet Foxes?

I’ll let them give their own introduction:

We're a group of five from
Seattle that sing for the fun of it and are into all kinds of music. We'd call this stuff baroque harmonic pop jams. Our names are Skye, Robin, Joshua, Casey, and Christian. We'll make some mistakes along the way but we hope you enjoy our little family business.”

Family business it might be, but small? Not any more. Fleet Foxes are taking the music world by storm and may find themselves in a position to give even Coldplay a run for their money for the top album slot over the coming week with the release of their self titled debut album. It was given 4.5 stars by Rolling Stone, and on June 6, 2008, they received 9 out of 10 in a review by Pitchfork.

Fleet Foxes are great standard bearers for folk music and you would be mad to miss them play live this summer if you at all get the opportunity.

Black Cab Sessions

Front man Robin Pecknold gives a breathtaking performance of Crayon Angels, (once performed by Judee Sill) while being driven around the back streets of Holborn in London.



Where Are They Playing This Summer?

26 Jun 2008 20:00 BOTTOM OF THE HILL *SOLD OUT!** SAN FRAN, CA

27 Jun 2008 20:00 THE CASBAH SAN DIEGO, CA

28 Jun 2008 20:00 THE ECHO LOS ANGELES, CA

29 Jun 2008 20:00 SPACELAND LOS ANGELES, CA

30 Jun 2008 20:00 SOLAR CULTURE TUCSON, AZ

2 Jul 2008 20:00 THE MOHAWK AUSTIN, TEX

3 Jul 2008 20:00 THE LOFT DALLAS, TEX

5 Jul 2008 20:00 DRUNKEN UNICORN HOTLANTA, GA

6 Jul 2008 20:00 LOCAL 506 CHAPEL HILL, NC

7 Jul 2008 20:00 BLACK CAT WASHINGTON DC

8 Jul 2008 20:00 FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH PHILADELPHIA, PA

9 Jul 2008 20:00 BOWERY BALLROOM * SOLD OUT * LIBERTY CITY

10 Jul 2008 20:00 UNION HALL * SOLD OUT * BOHAN, LIBERTY CITY

12 Jul 2008 20:00 PUP SOB 200th Anniversary Marymoor Park, Washington

14 Jul 2008 20:00 MIDDLE EAST UPSTAIRS BOSTON, MA

15 Jul 2008 20:00 LE DIVAN ORANGE MONTREAL, QC

16 Jul 2008 20:00 THE PHOENIX w/ MALKMUS TORONTO

17 Jul 2008 20:00 CHICAGO THING. CHICAGO, IL

18 Jul 2008 20:00 TERRACE - UNIVERSITY THING. MADISON, WI

19 Jul 2008 20:00 PITCHPORK FUSIC MESTIVAL CHICAGO, IL

20 Jul 2008 20:00 7TH STREET ENTRY *SOLD OUT!* MINNEAPOLIS, MI

22 Jul 2008 20:00 HI DIVE DENVER, COLORADO

23 Jul 2008 20:00 KILBY COURT SLC

25 Jul 2008 20:00 THE DOUGLAS FIR PORTLAND, OREGON

26 Jul 2008 20:00 CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY & HIBERNATION Xachua’bsh, Washington

7 Aug 2008 20:00 HALDERN POP FEST REES-HALDERN, GERMANY

8 Aug 2008 20:00 OYA FESTIVAL - HOMELAND BECKONS OSLO, NORWAY, Oslo

9 Aug 2008 20:00 WAY OUT WEST FEST! CONFIDENTIAL TO DUNGEN - PUT OUT A NEW RECORD ALREADY GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN

10 Aug 2008 20:00 BEATDAY OH-EIGHT COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

18 Aug 2008 20:00 RED BUTTE GARDEN W/ WILCO SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

20 Aug 2008 20:00 EAGLE KNOLL WINERY w/ WILCO BOISE, ID

21 Aug 2008 20:00 INB ARTS CENTER W/ WILCO !!! SPOKANE, WA

23 Aug 2008 20:00 LES SCHWAB AMPHITHEATER W / WILCO BEND, OREGON

21 Sep 2008 20:00 TREASURE ISLAND FEST SAN FRAN, CA

Useful Links:

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fleetfoxes

SubPop: http://www.subpop.com/artists/fleet_foxes

LastFM: http://www.last.fm/music/Fleet+Foxes

Fleet Foxes On Imeem:

White Winter Hymnal (from the new album)




White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes

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