And here we are at the latest helping of my tips for the perfect record collection. We’re in to the month of February now, you’ve all managed to survive the post-Christmas cash flow panic and things are looking up. Hopefully. So, what better way to celebrate this feeling than with the latest must-have offering.
The Fleet Foxes by The Fleet Foxes
Now before the purists kick up, I’d like to acknowledge the fact that this first album is not actually their first release, it was merely the first full length studio album. I was non-the-wiser myself until reliably informed and presented with the evidence by my girlfriend. The thing that stands out for me is how an American band managed to produce such quintessentially English sounding music. But, by jove, they pull it off with uncanny perfection.
The album kicks off with the perfect album opener, ‘Sun It Rises’. Just listening to it, you want to look out of the window and see the sun actually rising. The vocals and harmonies are heavenly and compliment the melody. This is quickly followed by ‘White Winter Hymnal’, possibly the best song on the album. Again, conjuring up the essence of English-ness, and lyrics that talk about “scarves of red tied round their throats, to keep their little heads from falling in the snow” and “turn the white snow red as strawberries in the summertime”. You will find yourself singing along before too long, this I promise you. And the album continues in this vein. Yet another stand-out track is the beautiful (yes, I’ve just used the word ‘Beautiful’ to describe a song. Can’t believe it myself) ‘Your Protector’. Words can’t do the song justice, so I merely implore you to give it a listen. And I defy you not to be filled with emotion by the end. I will even tell you that in the infancy of our relationship, for my girlfriend and me, this was ‘Our Song’.
The album’s first disc (oh, didn’t I mention there was a second disc? Yes, there is, and we will come to this in due course. Have patience) comes to a close with two more brilliant tracks, ‘Blue Ridge Mountains’ and ‘Oliver James’. Both contain the haunting harmonies that flow and persevere throughout the entire record. The latter is nothing but vocals and minimal musical accompaniment.
Right, disc two. This is essentially one of their earlier EPs included because it contains the most successful of their UK singles (reaching the shamefully low peak of 51 in the charts), ‘Mykonos’. This is yet another gem of a song.
There it is then. Go and buy the album, listen to it and be amazed. In fact, with the cold weather upon us, this album is the perfect antidote as it will give you a warm feeling by the time you’ve listened to it all the way through.
Thank you for reading.