Seattle band Fleet Foxes sit inbetween the darker side of the Beach Boys and the jangly folk rock of the Byrds. At their best, the Foxes make timeless surf pop songs full of towering vocal harmonies.
The harmonies and the echo-drenched drums expand songs like ‘White Winter Hymnal’ and ‘He Doesn’t Know Why’ into soundscapes as big and wide as a Pacific beach. Both tracks plus the quieter ‘Heard Them Stirring’ recall the more intense creations by Beach Boys’ mastermind Brian Wilson.
The three songs together form the heart of the Fleet Foxes’ selftitled album. For the feet you get two indie rock numbers, ‘Your Protector’ and ‘Ragged Wood’. For the head you get a bundle of heavily Byrds-inspired folk rock tunes full of jangling guitars and introspective lyrics. ‘Sun It Rises’, ‘Tiger Mountain Peasant Song’, ‘Blue Ridge Mountains and the remainder of the album fall into the latter category.
The ex-Grunge Rockers among you may like to know that this five-piece hails from the suburbs of Grunge capital Seattle. Like the Grunge bands that came before them, the Fleet Foxes display a mellow, laid back vibe throughout the album. ‘Fleet Foxes’ never sounds busy or laboured.
The only reservation I have about this album is that even though every track is a strong song in its own right, they don’t get to shine properly as there is little to set them off from the rest. If Fleet Foxes would have thrown in a few breaks, let’s say a slightly harder number and a solo ballad, the album could have been even stronger.
Reservations aside, if you are looking for sunny, laid back pop songs with an echo of the Beach Boys’ surfing symphonies then ‘Fleet Foxes’ is a sound choice.
Listen now to ‘Fleet Foxes’ and download the album from the iTunes Store.
To buy the album on CD, please see the link below.