Random Best of ’08 – Best Indie Pop
Almost as if by design – to make my late Best-of posting seem perfectly timed – Fleet Foxes performed this past weekend on SNL.
One could tell there was something special about the Seattle band even before their first proper album was released; the band presented a ‘taster course’ in the form of an EP in April of ’08. The Sun Giant EP’s title track revealed blankets of layered vocals that recalled Southern Californian 70s rock as an affectionate touchstone, without being a specifically locatable signature. ”English House” with its pastoral pop charms, also became a quick favorite.
The band’s self-titled LP reveals still more musical riches. One of the most memorable tracks, “White Winter Hymnal” revisions vocal harmonies a lá CSNY for a veritable choir of overdubs; this wall of voices is matched by a guitar solo that packs its own thunder. ”Blue Ridge Mountains” transports the Foxes’s chorused vocals into more rustic – alt-folk – musical territory.
“Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” and “Meadowlark” are more simply arranged – relying primarily on solo voice and acoustic guitar – but so eloquently sung as to be equally affecting.
For audio evidence of the band’s captivating live presence, Aquarium Drunkard has posted their 11-21-08 show in the Netherlands.