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AAA Music | 6 December 2019

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Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

| On 30, Apr 2011

Let’s be frank from the beginning! Without Fleet Foxes’ first album we wouldn’t have witnessed the rise of this new wave of psych-indie-bucholic-folk that literally invaded the otherwise dull panorama of pop music. So, if you love bands such as Mumford and Sons, Bon Iver and Midlake, you (partly) owe it to these six guys from Seattle. If, on the other hand, you hate them, well, at least now you know whom to blame.

Fleet Foxes’ sophomore effort reflects the continuity and maturity reached by this six-piece, and repays them of the delays in its publication. In fact, Helplessness Blues was due to release in 2009, but due to the intense touring of the band got delayed to nowadays, costing more than £40k of their own pockets.

As good as their first works, maybe even better, Helplessness Blues sounds more eclectic, a goldmine of brainwaves, a multi-layered trip to an increased depth in sound and lyrics. The Shrine/An Argument is an evasion to jazzy landscapes unexpected and very welcome. Robin Pecknold’s voice sounds more authoritative now, his lyrics more straightforward, counterpoint melodies more complex and challenging.

Love’em or hate them, only one thing is obvious: Fleet Foxes are one the very few bands that we’ll remember in twenty years, one of those bands that are still able to define a genre, where music is not a pretentious and artificial mannerism, but getly chiselled craft.

Author: Lorenzo Coretti