Album Review: Fleet Foxes – “Shore”

Posted: by The Editor

After 2017’s comeback Crack-Up the Seattle, WA-based folk rock band, Fleet Foxes, returned with a surprise new album Shore. Fleet Foxes have well established their sound since their debut album in 2008. The band utilizes layers and layers of instrumentals to have a defined yet orchestral sound that ebbs and flows throughout the various tracks. Over the years this sound has flourished and developed in complexity as the band has matured.

On Shore they do just that, building off of the success of Crack-UpThe opening track “Wading In Waist-High Water” opens with soft guitar and vocals that seem a little different in its delivery than Fleet Foxes’ previous recordings. The track then widens to include other string instruments. While very soft and delicate in its tone in the first minute, the track switches gears to explode into a fantastic arrangement of instrumentals that break up the melody. This is very typical of Fleet Foxes’ sound, however, they seem to add a freshness to it that still makes the track feel new and exciting. The track ends flawlessly into the next track “Sunblind”, something that Fleet Foxes has become an expert in achieving seamlessly.

“Can I Believe You” harks more to the older sound that Fleet Foxes has presented on earlier records. A simple instrumentation that is so well crafted and orchestrated that it appears bland upon first listen. However, it holds so many layers of expertly written melodies and harmonies that the track is actually quite complex. Fleet Foxes are masters of their craft.

Other track highlights such as “Featherweight” showcase that Fleet Foxes stay true to their folk influences. The track’s melody feels like it has been taken right out of Simon and Garfunkel’s notebook. Stacking harmonic string instrumentals one over another but with such a tight melody. The vocals are delivered with a buttery tone, yet with such precision and care that they do feel worked on. Fleet Foxes don’t have anything to prove, just more to show, and “Featherweight” shows just that. Well executed, produced and written tracks that flow with ease one onto the next but with a flavor that is true to themselves. 

Shore shows that Fleet Foxes are still in the game. Their style of folk-rock has only improved with time and hard work. A very interesting and refreshing album in their discography and a sweet surprise for us in these gloomy times. Fleet Foxes continue to prove that they have their sound down to a tee.

Disappointing / Average/ Good / Great / Phenomenal

Sarah Knoll

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