i love music. as a child, i used to stay up late at night with my clock/alarm/fm radio underneath my pillow, wanting to hear just a few more songs before drifting off to sleep. as a teen and in college, i set a timer on my CD player so i could slip into my dreams carried on the notes of my favorite artists. to this day, i am the most productive when i am listening to music. (as i write this, “razorblades” by the strokes is playing in the background.) i can’t drive without my 6-disc changer loaded up with some great tunes. music is simply a part of how i live.
although i’d like to say i just have a knack for finding the best new music, i’ll admit i have a few friends that serve as my musical gurus. they never fail to point me to fab artists they know i’ll love. everyone needs a music guru. 😉 i won’t presume to be yours, but i thought it would be fun to share a great new musical find with all of you.
last week i discovered a delightful band, and i can’t stop telling EVERYONE how wonderful they are. i’ll begin by saying my musical taste is the very definition of eclectic, so don’t write me off if you don’t instantly love this band. but, you’ve gotta give them a try. the band is called fleet foxes, and their self-titled debut album spells perfection to my ears. it all began with a superficial glance at their album artwork. the quirky historian in me couldn’t resist recognizing (and getting giddy over) the painting gracing the cover: netherlandish proverbs (aka the blue cloak) by pieter bruegel the elder. my eyes then scanned the nearby review placard, where the band was compared to The Shins and My Morning Jacket, two bands I already adore. sold! before i had returned to my car, i had discarded the shrink wrap and was anxious to give the disc a (literal) spin.
i was instantly overwhelmed. from the very first note of the very first track, i knew i had found something special. from the harmonies, the lush layering of instruments, the folksy feel, the haunting lyrics… i was smitten. for five days now, i have been able to listen to little else. each song has an ethereal quality, similar to the music of rufus wainwright and (another one of my faves) iron & wine. it’s also a good sign that nearly every band they credit as an influence (on the inner cd envelope) is on my list of musical loves. who lists debussy and the beach boys as influences? they do. haha that’s just how they roll. the crème de la crème: guitarist robin pecknold wrote a beautiful essay on the back of the cd jacket about how music can be so closely associated with memory. he signed the essay “warren gamaliel bancroft winnipeg harding.” seriously… someone who comes up with such an awesome pseudonym has got to be rad. as i drove along pch to malibu last week, i fell in love with this album. the beauty of their music swept over me and i was nearly brought to tears on several occasions.
okay — so now you know i am a total emo mess. 😉 the album has already been met with critical acclaim, receiving 4/5 stars from rolling stone and many other glowing reviews. my fave tracks are 6, 8, and 10… although all 11 are really fantastic. i hope some of you will give it a spin and let me know what you think! feel free to share any other bands you think i’d love, too! happy listening!