These days I know almost instantly when I am hearing what will become my favorite record of the year. I have been intermittently grinding the five songs on the Foxes debut EP ‘Sun Giant’ (especially the epic ‘Mykonos’ and ‘English House’) and the 11 songs on the self-titled masterpiece ‘Fleet Foxes’ for the eight months since I accidently stumbled in on the band at one of their earliest NYC shows.
The Foxes play a deliciously derivitive fusion of 70’s Americana rock, imagine a bit of CSN&Y or America, mixed with Brian Wilson’s exquisite SoCal choral moments as well as dash of Appalachian gospel. Seattle’s Fleet Foxes are the much anticipated next branch to fall after My Morning Jacket, Wilco and Devendra Banhart. Flannel shirts and beards are back, but with a kind of modern authenticy, led by the exquisite vocals of Robin Pecknold.
But what sets the band apart is more their range. On a handful of tunes the band is able to create multiple songs within a single structure by pivoting off of dead-stop transitions from accoustic harmony to electric rock anthem. It will be hard to unseed a record like for a long time. It will sit comfortably atop that evergreen go-to shelf which includes Buckley’s “Grace”, Midlake’s “Van Occupather,” Galaxie 500’s “On Fire” and another twenty or so records that will never fall from their high perch. This a classic.