Day 21: Fleet Foxes – “Helplessness Blues”

Tracklisting

  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”

I’m kinda cheating with this album seeing as I have the album leak a month and a half before the CD even comes out. “Helplessness Blues” is the second album by the Fleet Foxes and going by listeners of this band, it’s much better than their first, self-titled album.

I have never even heard of this band before until Saturday when I saw it being talked about immensely in the “Album of the Day” thread on the DMB forum Antsmarching.org. I saw they were a folk band, a style of music I’m starting to get into so I figured I’d request a download link.

I fell in love with this band’s sound almost immediately. They remind me a lot of Mumford & Sons, relying more on the mood of a song through acoustic guitar, moaning and harmonics and the use of the drums to accent parts rather than driving the rhythm. Robin Pecknold, the leader of this band, said he wanted to have more of a groove-feel on this album.

The first track, “Montezuma,” is a great example of this. The only problem is with the recording I downloaded, it cuts out twice in the song. That is the only flaw of the recording for this album I have.

The album’s first single “Helplessness Blues” is the sixth song on the CD and it’s my favorite. It’s available for download from the band’s site for free, here. It also does a great job of setting the mood through acoustic playing and subtle harmonics before it reaches a crescendo.

I was raised up believing
I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes
Unique in each way you can see

And now after some thinking
I’d say I’d rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery
Serving something beyond me

But I don’t, I don’t know what that will be
I’ll get back to you someday soon you will see

Their upbeat stuff is also great. I fell in love with the second song on the album, “Bedouin Dress.” The violin play is awesome on this, something I have grown fond of in a lot of music thanks to Boyd Tinsley of DMB.

“Sim Sala Bim” and “Battery Kinzie” are two more upbeat tunes that I really dug on this album.

The album is due out May 3. I strongly suggest picking this up in stores if you can’t find a torrent for it online.

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