Ten years following in the footsteps of Brian Wilson, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young never once falling into the trap of a bland imitation. For the occasion, the quintet from Seattle look back on their younger years with a four-disc box set featuring around thirty tracks: Fleet Foxes – First Collection: 2006-2009. On the programme: The Fleet Foxes EP (2006), the eclectic Sun Giant EP (2008) and the album Fleet Foxes (2008), not forgetting the hit single White Winter Hymnal, a gospel serenade filled with a cappella. It’s a profusion of sweet acoustic chants, titles overflowing with pastoral poetry and mystical reverbs.
Vocals resonating in echo as if in a church (Oliver James), folkloric tambourins (Mykonos), and catchy choruses: comforting warmth emanates from the record and the listening experience quickly becomes irresistible. Then, on the third disc, the guitars are plugged in to pick the album up a bit and unveil some delightful pop themes (In the Hot Hot Rays). The crew give the album a certain floaty weightlessness, even on Joan Baez’s legendary Silver Dagger. Overall, 100 minutes of astonishing folk music that provides a great insight into the Fleet Foxes’ staggering evolution and their undeniable songwriting talent. A box set that ends in a climax with previously unreleased demos, including English House (basement demo). A holy moment.
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