It's been six years since the last Fleet Foxes album and a lot has changed. Josh Tillman has become the Father and lead singer Robin Pecknold enrolled at Columbia University.
I was never a huge fan of these guys back in the day. I enjoyed their self-titled debut but didn't really listen to Helplessness Blues all that much. This is still definitely a Fleet Foxes folk album but the tone is much darker and the music more complex.
It starts off with Pecknold singing "I’m all that I need and I’ll be till I’m through," a dark sentiment and a continuing theme throughout the record. There are ancient roman and Civil War references throughout the album as well, perhaps the result of being in a college atmosphere.
The music is grand and beautiful. The skill needed to produce this level of music is immense. The album won't appeal as much to the mainstream as some of their past work, there isn't really a single on the record besides maybe "Third of May / Odaigahara."
In the end the album comes full circle. Pecknold describes it like this: “If the record is about any one thing, I’d say it’s just—no one can go it alone,” Pecknold finally says. “No one is an island. That’s the main take away from my experience of the last few years.”
The six year wait was definitely worth it. This album is brilliant from start to finish.
“Third of May/Odaigahara”, “If You Need To, Keep Time On Me”, and “On Another Ocean (January/June)”