Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

Album cover
Indie; folk;
Sub Pop Records
Fleet Foxes
Helplessness Blues
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues Review rating:
4
User rating:
Average: 5 (4 votes)

The year is 2008. The growing indie scene is abuzz with a new band: the Fleet Foxes. With both an EP and a full-length released in the span of three months, the band was able to provide new fans plenty of material to fawn over. Fast forward three years to the spring of 2011, and the hype surrounding the band has only increased as hipster culture becomes more and more mainstream. The time is ripe for the band to release their sophomore effort, Helplessness Blues, a soft, yet magnificent effort that captures everything that helped make the band successful.
Perhaps the biggest draw of the Fleet Foxes’ sound (and indie-folk music in general) is the absolute versatility of setting; despite being borne (and largely listened to) in the rainy streets of hipster meccas such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Greenwich Village, the music itself invokes images of rolling meadows and rustic farms with its combination of rough yet crooning vocals and harmonies and soft, measured instrumentation. Lead vocalist Robin Pecknold’s voice is something of a magic pill, used to bend the listener’s perceptions at will. It is rough enough around the edges to bring forth the images of old-style Americana while soft and emotional enough to make his plaintive musings on life, love, and loss truly believable.
Yet, if Pecknold is the main character of this music, the rest of the band are the artists that paint the setting and convey the mood. As Pecknold softly reminisces how he “would rather be a functioning cog in some great machine” in “Helplessness Blues,” it is the band’s sonic landscapes that invoke Pecknold’s simultaneous feelings of nostalgia, frustration, and understanding and contentment with his station in life. On “Bedouin Dress,” it is the band’s combined use of mandolin, drums, and soft harmonization that transforms Pecknold’s otherwise-morose pinings on “the only regret of [his] youth” into a story of a man bittersweetly looking back upon the past as it continues to shape the minutia of his present (this time, in the form of running into a former flame). Even as the album progresses, the band manages to maintain the strength of their sound. In the cornerstone of the album’s second half, the 8-minute behemoth “The Shrine/An Argument,” Pecknold’s voice soars further than it has ever gone as the band’s soft harmonies and balance of the melodic and discordant shine more than they ever have.
Without a doubt, Helplessness Blues is an excellent record. Throughout the release, the band displays a knack for writing excellent indie-folk music that truly invokes the traditional images of Americana. Pecknold’s brilliant voice and the emotional power of the band’s instrumentation are what caused the Fleet Foxes hype to build continuously for three years, and it is what will keep the hype building for at least another three more. The future is bright for the Fleet Foxes, so you can insert a clever pun here relating the band’s name or the album title to how bright their future will be.

1. Montezuma
2. Bedouin Dress
3. Sim Sala Bim
4. Battery Kinzie
5. The Plains/Bitter Dancer
6. Helplessness Blues
7. The Cascades
8. Lorelai
9. Someone You'd Admire
10. The Shrine/An Argument
11. Blue Spotted Tail
12. Grown Ocean

Fleet Foxes is an indie folk band that formed in Seattle, Washington, United States in 2006. The band consists of Robin Pecknold (vocals, guitar), Skyler Skjelset (guitar), Christian Wargo (bass, guitar, vocals), Casey Wescott (keyboards, vocals) and J. Tillman (drums, vocals). They are signed to the labels Sub Pop and Bella Union.

... read more

Did You Know?

Batman
Batman says... "Mayday Parade has a song titled 'Kids In Love' which was written by Derek at 17."

Featured Album

Hawthorne Heights-Hate
Hate
Hawthorne Heights

Recent Interviews

ARIA
ARIA
Tue, September 06, 2011
A Common Year
A Common Year
Thu, September 01, 2011
Mayday Parade
Mayday Parade
Mon, August 22, 2011
Blessthefall
Blessthefall
Tue, August 09, 2011
Stray From the Path
Stray From the Path
Thu, August 04, 2011
The Summer Set
The Summer Set
Wed, July 27, 2011
Psychic Babble
Psychic Babble
Tue, June 28, 2011
Touche Amore
Touche Amore
Fri, June 24, 2011
August Burns Red
August Burns Red
Tue, June 21, 2011
Nocturnal Me
Nocturnal Me
Mon, June 13, 2011
Living With Lions
Living With Lions
Mon, June 13, 2011
Polar Bear Club
Polar Bear Club
Sun, June 12, 2011
The Swellers
The Swellers
Mon, May 23, 2011
Balance And Composure
Balance And Com ...
Sun, May 22, 2011
Protest The Hero
Protest The Hero
Fri, April 29, 2011
Dredg
Dredg
Wed, April 27, 2011
Otep
Otep
Sat, April 23, 2011
Fireworks
Fireworks
Tue, April 12, 2011
Dance Gavin Dance
Dance Gavin Dance
Sun, April 03, 2011
He Is We
He Is We
Sat, March 05, 2011

Powered by Drupal. Eco-friendly hosting provided by Site5 LLC.
All content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons License .