On July 17th, the Fleet Foxes Instagram account posted an announcement that they had added several artists to their upcoming US tour: (Sandy) Alex G in the Northeast, Natalie Prass in the Northwest, Bedouine in the Southwest, and Nap Eyes in the Midwest in addition to the already-billed Animal Collective and Beach House.
For a good 24 hours, information on this news was nowhere else to be found, save the account (likely run by frontman Robin Pecknold) answering direct fan inquiries in the comments section. Either way, I naively thought that it was safe to assume the addition of Philly’s own Alex G to the upcoming July 31st show at The Mann Center was a given, as he had no other scheduled shows that day and Philadelphia is a Northeast location. Continue reading →
Everyone, stay calm. Take a deep breath. (Or don’t, because I know I haven’t since the first signs of real studio work began appearing on social media last year). It’s finally here: Crack-Up was released last week via Nonesuch Records, the third studio album from Fleet Foxes who after nearly six years have returned in a decidedly grand fashion. Crack-Up is an epic of complex, smart, and just plain beautiful tracks that go better together, making sense musically and lyrically in context of the record yet feel slightly incomplete alone. Continue reading →
A new scientific study has confirmed what many of us had already known for years: Queen’s Freddie Mercury had a truly remarkable voice unlike most others.
Following a 5 year hiatus it looks like Fleet Foxes will get back together again. Fleet Foxes last album was Helplessness Blues which came out in 2011, but in an interview with the website DISTINCT vocalist/guitarist Christian Wargo says that he and Robin Pecknold have talked about the idea of getting the Seattle folk outfit back together again.
Wargo told distinctdaily.com:
“It’s not, like, ‘announced’ or anything, and none of us really knew it was coming, but it’s happening. Possibly unofficially at this stage, but it’s definitely a thing.”
This is sweet – the Bands in the Backyard crew got to sit in on a Light Heat rehearsal in preparation for some dates the band has coming up in New York (January 12 at The Cake Shop) Philly (February 23rd at Johnny Brenda’s). Joining them are guest players Peter Bauer of The Walkmen on keys and Skye Skjelset of Fleet Foxes on guitar, and they’re rocking out to an as-yet unreleased jam from the pen of Light Heat mastermind Quentin Stoltzfus. Check it out below, find out more about the Johnny Brenda’s date at WXPN’s Concert Calendar.
Artists Project Earth (APE) is an international organization that, according to their website, “has funded over 300 projects and awareness-raising initiatives around the world that combat climate change and develop local resilience and solutions to climate injustice – and gives emergency funding for natural disaster relief.” Some of APE’s projects have been collaborations with musicians resulting in three fundraising albums to date including Rhythms Del Mundo Cuba, Rhythms Del Mundo Classics and Rhythms Del Mundo Revival. Next Tuesday Rhythms Del Mundo Africa is being released. It includes contributions from Coldplay, R.E.M., Fleet Foxes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mumford & Sons, Aloe Blacc, Beyonce, Eminem, and others, along with African musicians including Toumani Diabaté, Ali Farka Touré Band and Rokia Traoré. Listen to the album below. Go here for more information.
For more photos by Eric Ashleigh, go to eAshleigh.com.
FRIDAY, MAY 20
Merrill Garbus, who performs as tUnE-yArDs, sees things in a million shades of gray. Her lyrics and interviews are filled with more questions than answers. Is she borrowing—or stealing—her beats and yelps from African music? Should she sing about the political views that are inherently a part of her personality, or will she come across as preachy? Should she make her music more confrontational to avoid having it played in Urban Outfitters? And if her music is even more confrontational, will it alienate the listener? That kind of ambivalence could bog a musician down. But Garbus has an ability to ask questions powerfully. Layers of explosive percussion drive the music; her voice ranges unpredictably. The result is music that lies off the beaten path of current indie trends. tUnE-yArDs performs with Buke And Gass at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are SOLD OUT. —Dave Simpson
Also playing: Odd Future at First Unitarian Church (9 p.m., all ages, SOLD OUT); Weird Al Yankovic at Keswick Theatre (8 p.m., all ages, $29.50-$59.50); Dredg + The Dear Hunter, Balance And Composure, The Trophy Fire at The Trocadero (7 p.m., all ages, $16); Small Houses + Chris Kasper, Tinmouth, Brittany Ann at Danger Danger Gallery (9 p.m., all ages, $5-$10)
SATURDAY, MAY 21
As one of the leaders of the folk-baroque resurgence, Seattle’s Fleet Foxes bring a harmony-laden, rustic approach to pop. The songs sound like hymns to rural Americana—they’re both a tribute and a wishful hope for a return to simpler time. Unfortunately, singer Robin Pecknold’s lyrics sometimes veer off into hokey territory, especially when he rambles at length about the poetry of snowflakes and sun-drenched orchards. But Fleet Foxes are highly listenable: both their first album and their latest, Helplessness Blues (which came out earlier this month), offer a dreamy, inoffensive soundtrack for an afternoon spent picking apples and wearing plaid. Fleet Foxes perform with The Cave Singers at 9 p.m. at The Tower Theatre; tickets to the show are SOLD OUT. —Kiley Bense
Also playing: Converge + Drop Dead, Trap Them, Burning Love, Cop Problem at Broad Street Ministry (7 p.m., all ages, $15); Damon And Naomi + Amor de Dias at First Unitarian Church (7:30 p.m., all ages, $12); Delco Nightingale + Sean Kershaw And The New Jack Ramblers at The Fire (9 p.m., $9)
SUNDAY, MAY 22
The Punk Rock Flea Market (10 a.m.-5 p.m., $3, 461 N. 9th St.); Neon Trees + The Limousines, Eastern Conference Champions at Theatre Of Living Arts (8 p.m., $18); The Cars at Electric Factory (8 p.m., $60.45)
Fleet Foxes have a new album, Helplessness Blues, coming out on May 5th—and they’ll be stopping by the Tower Theatre on Saturday, May 21st, while on tour in support of the album. Complete ticket information for the show can be found here. You can also stream the entire album over at NPR Music here. In their review of the album, NPR Music says:
Still making intricate folk songs with otherworldly harmonies, Fleet Foxes’ members clearly wrestled with the fear of repeating themselves in making Helplessness Blues. Ultimately, they wind up letting go and doing what they do best, and the results are outstanding.