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Review: Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues

May 3rd, 2011

Fleet Foxes
Hopelessness Blues
(Sub Pop)

Need to know: From Seattle, indie folk ensemble Fleet Foxes literally appeared out of nowhere when they signed to Sub Pop in early 2008 and garnered unheard-of buzz. The Sun Giant EP was issued soon after, which along with a stint opening for tourmates Blitzen Trapper, helped them quickly build a strong following. Their self-titled album was released in June and was praised by Pitchfork (9.0), eventually taking that site’s best album of the year honours and selling more than 500,000 copies worldwide. Recording for their second album saw them scrap a number of sessions and start over with producer Phil Ek, who oversaw their debut. Frontman Robin Pecknold has described the second Fleet Foxes album, Helplessness Blues, as “less poppy, less upbeat and more groove-based.” In January 2011, the band added Blood Brothers multi-instrumentalist Morgan Henderson to the line-up.

Via Twitter: Blues has the sweeping arrangements, divine harmonies and placid tenor of its predecessor. It’s rare to follow brilliance with brilliance.

Sample: “Grown Ocean”

RIYL: Grizzly Bear, Band of Horses, My Morning Jacket, Bon Iver

Listen to Helplessness Blues in its entirety over at MuchMusic’s First Spin section. Click here.

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