Seattle band offers crash course in indie Americana on promising debut LP
Fleet Foxes draw a line from Crosby, Stills & Nash to Grizzly Bear on their self-titled debut LP, belting out complex, incandescent harmonies over ramshackle Americana. There’s also a Band of Horses somewhere in their menagerie, as they forgo experimental edginess for a more traditional, rustic approach. “Sun it Rises” opens the album with some a cappella, shape-note-style harmonies, which carry over into a wash of dust-bowl acoustic guitar and banjo, decorated with an ivy trellis of electric guitar. This is the album’s overarching motif. Some songs complicate it: The outstanding “White Winter Hymnal” adds a dollop of doo-wop, “He Doesn’t Know Why” appropriates the arch singing of classic British folk, and “Ragged Wood” is a beach-music dream. But what we take away from the album is less a collection of specific moments and more a feeling. It’s like watching the sun rise over distant mountaintops, over and over, familiar and captivating all at once.