Pagan paens

July 26, 2008

If you’ve had your ear to ground, or really just if you’re on the internet, you’ve probably heard some of the buzz around Seattle’s Fleet Foxes.  They’re pretty much seen as the saviours of hipster folk pop – if that’s a genre urgently in need of saving.

For the most part, they’ve made a very pretty, bucolic album.  It sounds a lot like My Morning Jacket circa At Dawn or any other number of countrified acts that love their pop as much as they love steel guitars.  It’s not going to blow many minds that have experienced MMJ or the first Band of Horses album, for example.  But again, it’s mighty pretty-sounding.

The real stand-out to these ears, and the main point in the case for Fleet Foxes’ continued existence, is track two, “White Winter Hymnal”.  It starts off a bit like a fireside round singalong, a bit Brian Wilson, a bit hippie commune.  It’s the sense of unironic, Age of Aquarius exuberance that lifts up my spirits when I hear it.

Title notwithstanding, it doesn’t sound especially wintry.  Maybe it’s the sound of Spring, when the weather is just warm enough to get out and about in nature.  Fleet Foxes have given me just the song for emerging from hibernation.

Fleet Foxes – “White Winter Hymnal”


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