Fleet Foxes have historically set the bar for sweeping, modern folk tunes since their 2008 self-titled release, which featured the enduringly popular "White Winter Hymnal" and "Ragged Wood." Quietly establishing themselves as the forerunners of modern folk-rock, the band spent three years away from the spotlight making the Grammy nominated Helplessness Blues, proving that the sophomore slump was, in fact, no match for their impeccable, layered harmonies. Fleet Foxes' reign over their folk kingdom forges forward, despite a six year gap between albums, with their latest effort, "Crack Up." The album is now available to stream on NPR today, ahead of its release on June 16.
If the astounding nine-minute single "Third of May/ Odaigahara" didn't already signal the new vision for the music that Pecknold makes, the album's inventive opener "I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar" sets the tone for the winding, unsuspecting melodies that will follow. Seamlessly combining elements that essentially comprise Fleet Foxes' sound (a booming, clear voice accompanied by whimsical folk medleys,) with modern, technologic elements reminiscent of Bon Iver's recent transformation with 22, A Million, Fleet Foxes returns, and proves that there's nothing wrong with a little change. Stream the full album over at NPR.