By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
On first listen to Fleet Foxes' debut, it's easy to think, "How in the world did Sub Pop manage to dig up another band that sounds even more like My Morning Jacket than Band of Horses does?" Repeat listens reveal these Foxes to be of a much folksier pedigree, however, forgoing the monstrous riffage and Bonnaroo-friendly Pink Floyd-isms of MMJ for a sound that owes more to the tight harmonies of the Zombies and Crosby, Stills and Nash (though the band certainly shares Jim James' affinity for roomy reverb and Neil Young).
"White Winter Hymnal" makes good on the promise of the this spring's Sun Giant EP, kicking off with an honest-to-goodness vocal round before launching into gorgeous harmony and darkly pastoral lyrics ("And Michael, you would fall/And turn the white snow red as strawberries in the summertime..."), while the quietly innocent "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" would perfectly suit a woodland scene in some forgotten animated fairy tale. And while much of Fleet Foxes is certainly derivative—from the Brian Wilson-indebted oohs and ahhs of "Heard Them Stirring" and "He Don't Know Why" to the distinct Laurel Canyon vibe that permeates the album's arrangements—it's hard to deny the beauty of the band's young voices as they rise in unison, with the record appropriately opening ("Red Squirrel Sun Rises") and closing ("Oliver James") in a capella fashion.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city