Fleet Foxes new album organic and romantic
Released: May 3, 2011.
The Fleet Foxes’ newest album Helplessness Blues seems appropriately named, as the group have made their lyrical endeavours more intimately personal, and their music more haunting. Robin Pecknold, lead singer for the Fleet Foxes ties each song on this album together thematically through tales of heartbreak, longing and uncertainty. Like their first full-length EP Fleet Foxes, the band keeps to their baroque folk-roots by maintaining a constant use of acoustic guitar, tympani and tambourines throughout the new album. Robin Pecknold draws his listeners in by eloquently layering his songs with elegant lyrics, symbolism and images of nature. The album can be characterized by its numerous vocal harmonies which rekindles a feeling in the listener of once being at one with nature. The echoing harmonies the band use in their single “Montezuma” to frame Robin Pecknold’s solemn lyrics renders the song in a transcendent spiritual way. The appeal of this album comes from the band’s impeccable instrumental skill and their imagination; it gives it a romantic quality as it recalls times before where ladies were locked away waiting for their loves to save them. Much of Pecknold’s song writing on this album though is metaphorical, which can be witnessed in the single “Battery Kinzie,” which has a drum line akin to marching at its introduction, and which thematically refers to an existing military bunker once used to protect a battery of soldiers, and which Pecknold uses to describe a lover being held at the battlement where he is prohibited entry. The stories the Fleet Foxes tell on this album are almost mythical and magical, the band bewitches you with their elegant harmonies and with stories of meadows, cliffs, and yearning for love. This album is impossible to sum up in one review because each song is so instrumentally complex and unique. Helplessness Blues is undeniably that album that you would want with you as you are burning incense under the old oak. Though the Fleet Foxes first self-titled album was a complete success because of its ambition and instrumental variety, it is apparent that Helplessness Blues is a more matured and complex album.