Published Apr 26, 2011In the indie music world, debut albums don't get much bigger than Fleet Foxes' 2008 self-titled effort. That 11-song collection, along with its accompanying Sun Giant EP, won over fans and critics alike, propelling the band to stardom with its lush, pastoral folk and soaring vocal harmonies. Anticipation has understandably been high for the group's sophomore album, Helplessness Blues.
Thankfully, the wait ends now. The LP is slated to drop on May 3 via Sub Pop, and you can stream the entire album all week at Exclaim.ca. Go here to listen.
The build-up to Helplessness Blues has been a long one, as the Seattle folk outfit first began unveiling studio tidbits as far back as last summer. The recordings took a year to complete, with sessions at Avast Recording, Bear Creek Studios, Dreamland Studios and Reciprocal Recording. Frontman Robin Pecknold has explained the reason for the delay in recent interviews, admitting that the band were unhappy with the initial mixes. This led them to re-record and remix the entire record until they were happy with the results.
Their perfectionism paid off. Helplessness Blues is a gorgeous display of harmony-laden acoustic folk, which, despite the laboured recording process, sounds every bit as effortless and natural as the debut. Like its predecessor, the album was recorded with studio guru Phil Ek (Built to Spill, the Shins), who helped out with mixing and production. His input means that the record sounds sonically similar to the band's past work while still branching out in its intricate baroque arrangements and rootsy, backwoods flavour.
Fleet Foxes are supporting Helplessness Blues with a world tour that starts with a pair of shows in Vancouver and also includes a Toronto date. See the schedule here, and of course, listen to the album here on Exclaim.ca. But be sure to act fast, since it will only be available until May 2.
Stay tuned for these future full-album streams on Exclaim.ca:
Sloan The Double Cross May 3 to May 9
Austra Feel It Break May 10 to May 16
Most Serene Republic Pre Serene: Thee Oneironauts May 17 to May 23
My Dying Bride Evinta May 24 to May 30