Hopefulness Blues (or, Prelude for the Biggest Release Week for Music in 2020)
Fleet Foxes, one of the most-hailed modern folk bands. They blend a humble folk instrumentation with a varied, more grand output. It’s tough to describe their overall sound, for each record they’ve put out thus far has been sonically challenging to pinpoint. What’s so ironic about that is that their 2020 surprise record “Shore” is the perfect blend of their debut, “Helplessness Blues”, and “Crack-Up”.
It’s apparent that I would definitely be underwhelmed by this. And that sounds negative, totally not so. In 2017, they released one of my favorite records of all time, “Crack-Up”, a progressive folk masterpiece that focuses on grand instrumentation, drawn-out song structures, and an ostentatious persona. I feel like it would be completely impossible to top that album, even in the future for Fleet Foxes (although I still have hope). In comparison, this is more lush, relaxed, and meditative, less jagged, grandiose, or vivid.
But, they were allowed to make this record.
It’s a break from the epic structures of their last two ventures. The autumn gem that shines under the color-changing leaves of the season is “Shore”, their most straight-forward and all-the-more memorable than any other. The flow is immaculate, each song traversing its own path like rivers criss-crossing a barren landscape, all leading to the mysteriously large body of water encircling us all.
Some tracks are celebratory, others bittersweet, others slow and languid. This aids in the album’s cohesion to make it feel faster than it is. An hour goes by, and it feels like 20 minutes. A day goes by, and it feels like yesterday. A year goes by, and it feels like hell. One of the several vices in this god-forsaken year, “Shore”.
FAV TRACKS: all except least fav!
LEAST FAV: Young Man’s Game