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Fleet Foxes is about to release their first new album since 2008's self-titled debut resulted in indie-rock fame and sold-out shows for the Seattle-based band. Helplessness Blues, out May 3 on Sub Pop, holds great expectations from fans and critics of the band best-known for haunting vocals and image-heavy lyrics.
This time around multiple songs had to re-recorded, and reportedly endured a lack of consensus in the group, causing a delay for the follow-up. The whole album had to be mixed twice.
"There are so many considerations to make when you are making a record," frontman Robin Pecknold said in an interview with Stereogum. "You just want to make the best thing that you can, you know? You want it to be a good song, but it can't be too much like anything else you've already done."
If a fear of being unoriginal held the group back, in the end the soothing familiarity of the album is its strongest asset. Despite a bleating mess of horns during "The Shrine/An Argument" that is more akin to a gaggle of geese than the Fleet Foxes, its an album that will continue to lure fans and keep shows selling out. The band will be touring behind the record starting April 30; check Noisevox for the schedule.
Click here to listen to Helplessness Blues in its entirety thanks to NPR Music. The album will be streaming until it hits shelves next week.
Helplessness Blues -
2 Bedouin Dress
3 Sim Sala Bim
4 Battery Kinzie
5 The Plains/Bitter Dancer
6 Helplessness Blues
7 The Cascades
9 Someone You'd Admire
10 The Shrine/An Argument
11 Blue Spotted Tail
12 Grown Ocean