I have been listening to the Fleet Foxes album, but didn’t want to post about it as just about everybody with a CD player and a pen has already reviewed it. BUT as a lover of nostalgic sound and hymnal harmonies I was blown away on first hearing the Fleet Foxes debut EP Sun Giant.
Their patchworked American sound immediately evoked spiritualist influences. Other, less tangible references are evident, like words and pictures you may have seen in a dusty book and rapidly forgot, till now. When I heard ‘English House’ I felt like I was listening to the sons of Brian Wilson, who had taken on his music and obscured it, taken it back and brought out the spiritual elements which are often ignored in favor of that sun soaked surf sound of the Beach Boys. So i wasn’t too surprised to see him thanked in the sleeve notes of their self titled debut album.
This was itching in my brain when listening to FF and was compelling me to revisit Brian Wilson presents: SMiLE (2004), the legendary Beach Boys project started in 1966 and finally completed after recording difficulties, squabbles and Wilson’s eventual mental breakdown. For me SMiLE is layered with American musical history. Some early Americana, from Plymouth Rock to the Old West, farmlands, the building of the railroad and new housing. I love the tracks that are melancholic and retrospective, yet breezy like ‘Surfs Up’ and ‘Heroes and Villains’.
I feel like i have made new friends in Fleet Foxes, who have reminded me to go pay a visit to old ones.
Ladies and gentleman, Mr Brian Wilson.