Fleet Foxes Vinyl, CD & tapes by Fleet Foxes at Norman Records
Hey look: it's that band Father John Misty used to be in! In all serious, folks, welcome to the Fleet Foxes page. Few indie rock darlings have worked so hard at growing and changing in craft. Led by wordy and thinking troubador Robin Pecknold, the group started as a loudly harmonising, extremely baroque folk group, reminding the listener at all times of forests and canyons and local wildlife. They could've just done that, over and over, releasing another self-titled triumph every two years. But bands who've imitated that first Fleet Foxes record have gone by the wayside; Pecknold and co. remain, reinventing out of habit.
They may have only released two records since their debut, but I'm inclined to argue that Fleet Foxes keep getting better. When it came out, I championed Helplessness Blues as a mature move forward, an existential folk rock record that took on Pecknold's personal fears of adulthood. Played with more ornate and elegiac arrangements, plus the odd prog rock structure and saxophone freak out, it suggested a band on the look out for new ways to communicate. Their hunger for new came flooding out on 2017's Crack-up, a formidable and conceptual odyssey that used wild, segmented songwriting to cover themes as far-reaching as relationships, Trump and the Black Lives Matter movement, all through surreal, convoluted language. It was a mythical opus that forced us to consider Fleet Foxes in wild new terms, and it only begs more questions -- and chief among them is what can they do next?