Style: Pastoral, harmony-laden folk; compare to Crosby Stills & Nash, Simon & Garfunkel, Iron & Wine

Top tracks: "Helplessness Blues," "Someone You'd Admire," "Montezuma"

Listening to this Seattle band's 2008 debut was akin to hiking a mountain range or reclining in a sun-drenched field. In beautiful, anachronistic three- and four-part harmonies, the band sang of hummingbirds and summertime strawberries. Fleet Foxes still sing about creation with awe, reverence and excellence, but on Helplessness Blues, bandleader Robin Pecknold also trades his binoculars for a mirror. He frets over getting older and admits he'd rather be "serving something beyond me." There's a battle between "someone you'd admire" and someone who'd "throw you on the fire," and when Pecknold says, "God only knows which of them I'll become," it's more than a figure of speech.

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Helplessness Blues
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
Average Rating
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Release Date
May 1, 2011
Label
Sub Pop Records
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