I first listened to Fleet Foxes on a drive along Lake Superior in the summertime preceding my senior year of high school, coincidentally a few weeks after their last show in Minneapolis, in 2011. I was immediately taken aback by the intricate lyricism and fluid four-piece harmonies of the recently released Helplessness Blues, the Seattle folk superpower’s second studio album. Fleet Foxes reverent, dreamy folk pop soon became the score to many a road trip to the shores of northern Minnesota. In later years, deeper cuts became the impetus of yearly pushes through Montana and onward to their native state of Washington. There’s something about Fleet Fox’s music that pairs impeccably with the spirit of adventure. As if my eyes could be any wider, marveling at the Cascades, throwing on “Blue Ridge Mountains” opened floodgates to a sense of understanding of the planet, and my tiny place in it.
Those of us who feel as if we “missed the boat” so to speak can all breathe a sigh of relief this week. Fleet Foxes made some thrilling unveilings, as follows: A new album to be released June 16th; a string of tour dates, spread wide enough for the dedicated fan just about anywhere; and a new single; “Third of May/ Odaigahara”.
The first single of forthcoming “Crack-Up” jumps right into it- lush harmonies, soaring vocals, grandiose orchestration and an intangible majestic sound- all the key components to a solid track by the stalwarts of Indie Folk. In ways, listening to “Third of May/ Odaigahara”, it feels like Fleet Foxes never left us. The integrity and distinction found in prior work is very much intact, however, the track presents a depth and range of emotion that reflects the bands growth over the past six years- exploring tones of melancholy, uncertainty, and wonderment over a sprawling eight and half minute soundscape, and true enough, “Third of May/ Odaigahara” is a song just as beautiful and monumental as it’s namesake (a mountain in Japan).
05/26-29 Sydney, Australia @ Sydney Opera House
07/01 Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain @ Vida Festival
07/03 Ferrara, Italy @ Bands Apart
07/07 Bilbao, Spain @ Bilbao BBK Live
07/13-14 Dublin, Ireland @ The Iveagh Gardens
07/16 Southwold, UK @ Latitude Festival
07/27 Portland, ME @ Thompson’s Point
07/28 Newport, RI @ Newport Folk Festival
07/29 Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion w/ Animal Collective
07/31 Philadelphia, PA @ Mann Center for the Performing Arts w/ Animal Collective
08/01 Brooklyn, NY @ BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at the Prospect Park Bandshell
08/04 Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
08/06 Detroit, MI @ The Masonic
09/23 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl w/ Beach House
09/27 Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheater w/ Beach House