Hailing from Seattle, 5 piece Fleet Foxes have been causing quite a stir locally and while Sub Pop have long been Seattle's finest they thankfully they stuck to their "only sign bands from Seattle" code to snap up this band - as let's face it, that's a code that has seen more than a few happy exceptions recently (The Shins, Postal Service, Oxford Collapse, Flight of the Conchords (!?)).
Using heavy precussion, multiple vocals and a giant dollop of campfire guitar acoustics, Fleet Foxes gently rustle up an epic granduer that you often won't see coming. Everybody's talking about the Crosby, Stills & Nash sound that the band have, but it's just as valid to compare them to contempories like My Morning Jacket and label-mates Band of Horses - as all rely heavily on a powerful voice to carry the dense, sophisticated music. While there's a definite nostalgia to Fleet Foxes, it never seems like pastiche or parody - just fun, passionate music, with a depth and quality way beyond the band's slender years.
Thankfully there's a healthy dose of Young in that Crosby, Stills and Nash sound and while the hymnal harmonies might be the obvious USP here it's the rockier numbers that have grabbed my attention. The sweeping guitars of Ragged Wood build in beautiful climbing chords, while the pounding drums and keyboard provide the backing for a grand narrative on Your Protector. Thanks to more examples on the Sun Giant EP (English House and Mykonos in particular) it seems clear that this is an element that has plenty of room for development within the band.
For a debut album this is a pretty stellar release and you can only hope that things are going to get even better from this band. Fantastic.