Crack-Up

Fleet Foxes

Crack-Up
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Crack-Up

Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes release Crack-Up, their long awaited and highly anticipated third album.

Crack-Up comes six years after the 2011 release of Helplessness Blues and nearly a decade since the band’s 2008 self-titled debut. Fleet Foxes have released the album track Third of May / Odaigahara, a nearly nine-minute epic powered by piano and electric twelve-string guitar, string quartet and the group’s trademark sparkling harmonies.

All eleven of the songs on Crack-Up were written by Robin Pecknold and co-produced by Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset, his longtime bandmate, collaborator, and childhood friend.

Crack-Up was recorded at various locations across the United States between July 2016 and January 2017 - at Electric Lady Studios, Sear Sound, The Void, Rare Book Room, Avast, and The Unknown. Phil Ek mixed the album at Sear Sound, and it was mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.

Fleet Foxes is Robin Pecknold (vocals, multi-instrumentalist), Skyler Skjelset (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Casey Wescott (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Christian Wargo (multi-instrumentalist, vocals) and Morgan Henderson (multi-instrumentalist).

Review

It’s been six quiet years between drinks for Fleet Foxes fans and it’s fair to say the fans are thirsty. After one listen to the long awaited album Crack-Up, it’s clear that those years have not been wasted. Quite the opposite: it seems they have proven to be richly rejuvenating for Robin Pecknold and company.

The band announced the album in March to much online frenzy by unveiling the almost nine-minute opus ‘Third of May/Odaigahara. This song and the equally epic opener ‘I Am All That I Need/Arroyo Seco/Thumbprint Scar’ in many ways encompass the scope of ambition that’s present throughout a record that is awash with gorgeously layered harmonies (those harmonies!) and an intricacy of arrangement that at times astonishes. In the very best way it’s a record of towering highs and hushed lows. The music lulls and lifts shimmers and shifts.

A fan recently posited the theory online that ‘Grown Ocean’, the final song on 2011’s Helplessness Blues, felt unfinished and even went so far as to suggest that the opening song on the next record might begin with a missing F chord. He even made a demo to bridge the gap. Crazy right? Pecknold himself joined the forum to say: ‘First note on new album is F for exactly this reason. Never thought anyone would think about it besides me but you nailed it!’ Full-circle for the Fleet Foxes, then. May the circle be unbroken.


Declan Murphy is the music buyer at Readings St Kilda

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