Thursday, October 2, 2008

Modern Sounds: Fleet Foxes, 'Ragged Wood'

Following a couple of well received EP’s, the five-piece seattle based folk-rockers released their eponymous debut album in June. The close harmonies are likely to invite comparisons with post ‘Pet Sounds’ era Beach Boys or Crosby Stills and Nash, but if you’re looking for a pithy comparison, a more likely fit would be to dub them this years Arcade Fire. They fit the mould as an off-kilter eccentric band who’ve taken the mainstream by storm, now hopefully they avoid the ubiquitous radio overkill.

The track bursts open like a window pouring refreshing sunlight on the dusty rooms inside. With a ramshackle rhythm it goes off on a brisk cantor flowing with the aroma of woozy acoustic guitar and arcane instrumentation creating a vast kaleidoscopic wash. There’s a real purpose here, like the music is trying to free its shackles to float off into the divine ether. Don’t be fooled by the dizzy atmosphere, there’s a serious intelligence at work amongst all the play The stop chord technique and celestial outro reveal a more subtle hand at work, one of pure pop craftsmanship.

Where to find: Fleet Foxes (2008)

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