Album: Fleet Foxes, Sun Giant (Bella Union)
Friday 25 April 2008
Seattle quintet Fleet Foxes were the surprise hit of this year's SXSW Festival – and no wonder, if this sublime debut is anything to go by.
Though intended merely as a tour souvenir, and disdained by the band as unrepresentative of their ambitions, this five-track EP has the kind of otherworldly grace that has in recent years brought mainstream acclaim to such fringe artists as Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips, Iron & Wine and Arcade Fire. Harnessing gorgeous harmonies to folk-rock arrangements with the sort of enigmatic melodies favoured by The Shins, they're courageous enough to open with an a cappella title-track, capped with a delicate mandolin coda that doesn't disturb the song's fragile meniscus. Elsewhere, there are elegant Pentanglish folkisms, awed apprehensions of wonder at real life, and echoes of West Coast baroque-pop harmonists like The Association and America; but at their best, as on "Innocent Son", there's a tainted piety to Fleet Foxes' music that seems to straddle the secular and the sacred rather like a white, folkie equivalent of soul music. A mouth-watering taster for a full-length album later this year.
Pick of the Album: 'Innocent Son', 'Sun Giant', 'Mykonos', 'English House', 'Drops In The River'
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'naked pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'