Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
Sim Sala Bim
Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues; let them show you it
Sean PecknoldWe’re a week out from the release of one of the most-anticipated records of the year – Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes – and as has become commonplace, the album is available to stream a week before it goes on sale at NPR. A couple of listens in and all the key ingredients that made the debut a smash are still in place: Robin Pecknold’s otherworldly voice, the ridiculously lush and immaculate harmonies, the blankets of reverb imported from some Pacific northwest mountaintop, but Blues also sounds more confident and dynamic than its predecessor, perhaps a sign that the songwriting is now more up to par up with the immense musical talents of the band. I liked but didn’t love Fleet Foxes and am cautiously confident that I’ll like the new record more. I am certain, however, that they won’t alienate any of their fanbase with it.
Exclaim and Spinner have conversations with Pecknold, the former about the process of writing the new record and the latter about the general awfulness of Myspace. Meanwhile, over at We All Want Someone To Shout For has a session the band played for BBC Radio 1 last week available to download and if you like Fleet Foxes but hate their songs, You Ain’t No Picasso has collected a decent-sized archive of covers they’ve performed.
Fleet Foxes are at Massey Hall on July 14.
Stream: Fleet Foxes / Helplessness Blues
Yours Truly has got a video session with The Head & The Heart which I’m sure is great, but can’t watch to confirm since it’s restricted to the US only… but they’re working on it, I’m told. In the meantime, read this interview at LAist.
Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy talks to both Spin and Rolling Stone about their new record which may but probably won’t be called Get Well Soon Everybody and may be out come September. Know what would be awesome? If Tweedy gave completely contrary information to both publications. But he didn’t. More certain, as Exclaim reports, is the first release on the band’s new dBpm label – a 7″ single due out sometime in July A-sided by new song “I Might” and backsided by a cover of Nick Lowe’s “I Love My Label”.
Spinner, Paste and Clash talk to Steve Earle about his just-released new record I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive, acting and the Gulf of Mexico (song and region), respectively. He also sets up behind a Tiny Desk for NPR. Earle is at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 20.
Back for like the third time in less than a year, Robyn is back on June 3 with this past Winter’s tourmate Diamond Rings in tow and they’re playing an actual new venue in Toronto. It’s called Echo Beach and it’s an approximately 4000-capacity general admission outdoor venue at Ontario Place, on the water, not far from the Molson Amphitheatre but far away in time. Tickets for the show are $39.50, on sale Friday.