There’s a certain sense of futility to declaring a retrospective when your songs have an air of carbon dating; depending on whether you’ve always found Fleet Foxes bro-Folk mesmeric or an irritating contrivance, they’ve rarely fallen victim to the sin of belonging.
The band’s critics will point to a slight commercial trimming of expectation since their eponymous debut album took the world and them by surprise in selling over a million copies; singer/songwriter Robin Pecknold will point to a creative freedom that made both it’s successors far more awkward, personal records.
Even they though surely aren’t hard hearted enough to deny these early songs, plus that pristine first outing and the Sun Giant EP, another breath of air. The excercise reveals a trail through the band’s early work which is proof they didn’t simply arrive the finished article – there are even nods to the British new wave acts such as Orange Juice – but whilst you may come for that, you stay for their spellbinding later purity.
Everything is relative of course- ten years and some passes more quickly the woman raising children than the man in prison. But for Fleet Foxes, the timeslip is every bit in the ear of the beholder.
You can read a full review here.