BY FRED MILLS
I will freely admit to never having been a huge fan of Seattle indie folksters Fleet Foxes. Rather than coming across as the nü-CSNY that had fans swooning and certain critics drooling, there was something distinctively Gordon Lightfoot-esque and ‘70s-lite about them that I just couldn’t get behind.
What a difference six years can make when one revisits a record (in this case, two 2008 records) with fresh ears. Both the Sun Giant EP and long-playing debut Fleet Foxes now manifest themselves as prescient sunshine pop, joyful and buoyant and only occasionally cloying or saccharine. True, Robin Pecknold’s singing can get, true to his name, chirpy and sing-songy, and these guys never met a chorus that they didn’t like adding massed-choir harmonies. But that’s part of the band’s signature and charm, one supposes, so I’m happy to be able to eat any words I uttered early on and call myself a Foxfan now. If nothing else, Sun Giant standout “Mykonos,” with its soaring “whoaahh-ahh-ohhhh” vocal hook, irresistible melody and insistent pulse, should be on every single compilation spotlighting the best of the ‘00s, and it certainly will be on many of my mixtapes to come.
Okay, so I’m being a tad disingenuous here: it took a very specific form of coaxing to get me to the Fleet Foxes well. Longtime Boston indie record store Newbury Comics struck a deal with the band’s label, Sub Pop, to do a special edition reissue of the LP and EP. Pressed on gorgeous clear vinyl and limited to just 1000 copies, it’s only available at Newbury (website above). As I am a professed colored wax geek, I ordered a copy the minute I heard of its availability, and when it arrived in the mail last week I was not disappointed. Happy to report that the music didn’t let me down either.
DOWNLOAD: “Mykonos,” “Ragged Wood,” “Drops in the River”