Column: Fleet Foxes’ new album perfect for fall

Ryan Meyer

If there was ever a band for the fall season, it’s Fleet Foxes. Prior to the Tuesday release of their new album, “Shore,” I was only familiar with some songs off of their 2008 self-titled album. Their music is a bit of a departure from what I’m used to, as their indie folk label tended to turn me away.

Turns out there’s more electric guitar than I thought, and some of frontman Robin Pecknold’s melodies are among the best I’ve heard from the past decade’s artists. I know Fleet Foxes have been at the forefront of the 2010s indie scene, but I just never considered listening to anything other than one of their most popular songs, “White Winter Hymnal.”

The band is a part of what seems to be an extended indie rock family, including bands like the National, the Walkmen, and newcomers Muzz. Muzz, specifically, features drummer Matt Barrick, who has drummed for Fleet Foxes on tour and was the drummer for the Walkmen. Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen also contributed to “Shore.” Given my appreciation for these other bands, it doesn’t make sense that I never gave Fleet Foxes a real chance.

Maybe “Shore” was the opportunity I was looking for. The album was released at the exact time of the autumnal equinox, which may be what’s telling me that Fleet Foxes are a band to listen to as the leaves turn and temperatures steadily drop. It’s been less than 24 hours since it was released, but I’ve spent my entire day enjoying what songs I have listened to. “Can I Believe You” is one of the best songs this year’s packed field has to offer. Its most prominent feature is a simple chord progression from a clean guitar, and the pace that it sets is what makes the song my favorite on the album so far. As I become more familiar with the Fleet Foxes’ discography, I imagine “Can I Believe You” will remain at the top of my list, along with “Blue Ridge Mountains” and “Mykonos,” more songs from the eponymous record.

It’s always fun to hear a record the day it comes out, especially when you’re listening to a band with an unfamiliar and open ear. I have no idea if “Shore” is any better or worse than its predecessors, and that may be why I’m enjoying it.

 

Ryan Meyer is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]