Thursday, 29 January 2009

Fleet Foxes

Finally got round to listening to the Fleet Foxes album. Glad I waited in a way. It feels like an ideal album to experience in winter, an album to warm you. I was elated, even, reading the lovely, charmingly 70s-ish liner notes, not only the band’s stellar list of influences (great to see Maddy Prior getting a name-check for once) but the comments about the “transportive ability of music,” its power to “activate a certain mental freedom.” Great stuff, though the reference to “family” being “the most important thing in the world” is a Waltons-y step too far ... But this isn’t meant to be a review of the band’s liner notes, interesting as they are. The music itself is enveloping, rich but raw. You hear Neil Young, you hear The Band, but the overall effect is fresh. At its weakest, the record has something of the twee pastoral of Vashti Bunyan’s work, and, for me, the songs don’t seem to flow so much as blur, even after repeated plays. But there’s enough here to suggest a bright future for these guys. And to make this listener into a Fleet Foxes believer.

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