It’s All It’s Cracked Up To Be

After releasing their first self-titled EP in 2006, Fleet Foxes quickly swept the indie folk scene. It wasn’t until 2008 when they released their second EP “Sun Giant” did the band start to make a greater impact in the indie music world.

After their 2011 release “Helplessness Blues,” the band’s then drummer and now superstar extraordinaire Josh Tillman a.k.a. Father John Misty decided to leave. Fleet Foxes then went into hibernation not too soon after.

Fronted by Robin Pecknold, who sings and plays guitar, along with now permanent members, Skyler Skjelset (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Casey Wescott (keyboards), Christian Wargo (bass guitar) and Morgan Henderson (upright bass, woodwinds, violin, percussion), Fleet Foxes have risen out of their hiatus with a new piece of artistry titled “Crack-Up.”

This album works to be something separate from prior releases, but still holds true to the band’s indie folk roots. With tracks like “Third of May / Ōdaigahara,” the wave of instrumentation washes over with a driving piano and bass lines that carry Pecknold’s voice and remind listeners what Fleet Foxes are all about. The song is like the ebb and flow of waves on a shore. Moments of nothing but an acoustic guitar and whisper-like vocals cut to the same driving guitars and percussion.

Other notable tracks include “Fool’s Errand,” an eerily upbeat rhythm that crescendos into a love song driven by Robin’s drawn-out lyrics. Although past albums were as genuine and raw, this album’s lyrics stand out as even more emotionally charged. When the hard hitting music subsides and it’s just Pecknold’s voice, this album has something more intimate.

If you’re already a fan of Fleet Foxes, dive right in to this album and don’t look back. If you’re looking for an album to sink your teeth into and want to find your new favorite band please be sure to give Fleets Foxes’ newest effort “Crack-Up” a wholehearted listen.

Featured Image: https://consequenceofsound.net/2017/03/fleet-foxes-detail-new-album-crack-up-share-sprawling-third-of-mayodaigahara-listen/

When Bologna Turns Into Steak

Indie? Grunge Pop? Surf Rock? Try and wrap your mind around the genre of the hard hitting album, “Hung at Heart,” by The Growlers.

Frontman Brooks Nielsen provides the raspy vocals for this incredibly heartfelt album. From the get-go, the song “Someday” starts off the album with shimmering guitar riffs and smooth bass lines. This first track is a love letter to a significant other, promising better days and better meals.

“When tall boys turn into champagne,” Nielsen sings as the song continues to foresee how he wants to provide a better life for his loved one.

As a whole, the album is a perfect cohesion of love and lust.

With the track “One Million Lovers,” it’s hard not to see why this burden of love hangs so heavy on the heart of Nielsen. The song describes a love that possibly was lost or maybe a love that can’t be let go. Lead guitarist, Matt Taylor, provides upbeat strumming patterns with glimmering tones that will leave  you “…dreaming of her the whole day though.”

It’s hard to find a favorite song on this album, but one track that attention should be brought to is “Pet Shop Eyes.”  Nielsen’s charismatic attitude comes through in this song, explaining how he’s not buying into another girl’s advances due to the sad and blasé way about her. He compliments her looks but tells her to move along, even joking that her sadness has him on the verge tears.

All in all, if you’re looking for chill album to throw on in the background of your next party or if you’re looking for an album to make you feel at ease with your own personal strife, “Hung at Heart” is what you’re going to want play all the way through. The band has made an album that is danceable yet introspective at the same time. Released in 2013, “Hung at Heart” is reminiscent of late ’70s surf rock and blues.

Featured Image: “Hung at Heart” cover art, all rights reserved to The Growlers

Fleet Foxes is Back!

As the winter weather is fleeing and wildflowers are blooming, it’s only fitting to announce the following: Fleet Foxes has finally put out new music, after six years. Yes, in fact, is has been six years since the group’s last album, “Helplessness Blues,” came out. Listen to their new single, “Third of May / Odaigahara,” below.

If you are an avid listener of Fleet Foxes, you know that through the years their sound has definitely changed, along with lead singer Robin Pecknold’s voice. I was curious to find out if Fleet Foxes would go back to using a wide variety of instruments (“Blue Ridge Mountains“), as their newer sound features a really prominent yet simple lead guitar (“Helplessness Blues“). I think it’s safe to say that the group’s new song is a perfect mix of both old and new. It caters to the grandiose orchestration that many fans seem to love, but brings it back to a more peaceful, reflective sound towards the end.

What I loved most about Fleet Foxes’ previous music is that it seemed to be nature oriented. This song did not disappoint – it had plenty of nature metaphors. Throughout the nine minutes of this experimental track we’re being told the story of the relationship between Pecknold and another founding member of Fleet Foxes, Skyler Skjelset.

Fleet Foxes underwent member changes as well. For example, Joshua Tillman (also known as Father John Misty) was unable to join the band again, most likely because he’s doing his own solo tour. The group currently consists of Pecknold, Skjelset, Casey Wescott, Christian Wargo and Morgan Henderson.

Here’s to going on road trips with new Fleet Foxes music at the top of our playlists! Their new album “Crack-Up” debuts June 16th and they will be at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Sept. 23rd. I’ve been waiting six years to see them live, so I’ll be there (crying my eyes out)! Will you?

Ashley Bajet,
signing out.

Featured Image: Newsvibes.com

A Review of RAY BLK’s “Durt” Mini-Album

There’s thousands of lyrically straightforward pop and R&B songs saturating the roster of today’s new music, but it’s not exactly easy finding candid pop and R&B with good lyrics. Abstractions are frequently the direction that skilled songwriters prefer to lean into – they’re more interpretive, and therefore less susceptible to criticism – but at times, metaphors and symbolic imagery aren’t of any immediate use. At times, what we’re looking for are answers or content that resonates with us, plain and simple. But as history’s most horribly-written music has demonstrated, not all songwriters can balance poetry with straightforwardness, and it’s that lyrical disparity that makes us cringe and say “even I can do better,” as we’re driving alone in our cars, for once concentrating on a song’s words.

Thankfully, we have artists like RAY BLK, whose mini-album (aka a longish EP) Durt is a 25-minute representation of creative candor. Hailing from south London, RAY BLK got an early start on songwriting – she began at 14 – and today, the 23-year-old R&B singer is offering us what could be labeled as raw, artful ‘big sister’ storytelling, comparable to other young Londoners on the rise, like the soulful Jorija Smith. Those familiar with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill will notice the thematic similarities between Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and Ray’s short, yet clever “Hunny,” while the album’s title track, “Durt” is a lyrically grimmer, sexier version of Kandi’s “Don’t Think I’m Not.” In collaborations with UK-based producer SG Lewis and English rapper Wretch 32, Ray explores ended relationships from positions of both melancholy and shamelessness, making for a diverse listening experience.

Durt was released on October 28, also available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music. RAY BLK can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


The featured image is promotional and belongs to its respective party.