Sub Pop Records; June 2008
Calling Fleet Foxes’ debut “lush” is about as grand an understatement as one could make. On Fleet Foxes, the Seattle-based quintet craft and cultivate a sonic landscape that is simultaneously backwoods roots, Appalachian folk, Shins-esque indie pop (most likely thanks to producer Phil Ek), and classic rock. What binds the whole project together is a commitment to both baroque arrangements and multiple vocalists who know when to harmonize and when to let frontman Robin Pecknold take the helm. While “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” conjures images of a lost soul wandering through the wooded Northwest, “White Winter Hymnal” sounds like a five-part spiritual dirge. After one listen, it’s no wonder why the band have drawn comparisons to everyone from Animal Collective to Joni Mitchell; their sound is so sprawling and their influences are so wide reaching, it’s nearly impossible to pin-or it seems hold-them down.