Fleet Foxes

Helplessness Blues

I’ve been putting off writing about Helplessness Blues, the new album by Fleet Foxes. I love it too much. I know I can’t offer measured or objective opinions on the album … but who cares? I’m a firm believer that when music makes you happy, it’s your responsibility to tell as many people as you can. I’ve been a fan of the band since hearing their hypnotic song “White Winter Hymnal” on Pitchfork. I couldn’t get singer Robin Pecknold’s voice out of my head. So when Pitchfork posted the title track from their sophomore album way back in January, I listened right away. This was more epic than anything I found on their first album. Where “White Winter Hymnal” feels circular in a really neat way, with the faux-round at the song’s outset, “Helplessness Blues goes places. It lights a deceivingly long fuse, shoots you out of a cannon and then leaves you to parachute gracefully back to earth and survey the landscape on the way down. I was sure this would be my favorite song on the album … until I heard “Someone You d Admire.” It’s moving and brilliant and a hundred other adjectives. I love the emotional complexity of bittersweet songs like this one, because they change each time you listen to them. If you’re feeling hopeful, you can find inspiration. If you’re angry, you can find self-righteousness. There are so many amazing moments on the record, and I could spend hours detailing them, but I don’t want to keep you one more minute when you could be on your own journey with Helplessness Blues. Listen to the album’s title track below to get started.