Fleet Foxes - Mykonos
How can you ignore a five star rave review? I can't, but I am nearly always disappointed. People tend to rave about things which are very particular to them, who knows what sets it off; something very personal usually which doesn't quite click with you. Also, if I had a pound for every glowing music review which mentions Brian Wilson or The Beach Boys I'd be, well, able to finance these deflating musical forays.
But this five track EP from Seattle five piece Fleet Foxes is worth everyone of those five stars (and a little alliteration too). The title track opens with close-set acapella harmonies which echo as if they're being sung in a church and there is something religious about the melody too. Just voices singing but there is a grandeur to the music as they sing ' What a life I lead when the sun breaks free/As a giant torn from the clouds'. There's accompaniment and a much bigger sound to Drops In The River and English House continues with the guitars and ukulele underpinning more fantastic harmonies. The sun comes out again on the mournful sounding Mykonos, 'And you will go to Mykonos/With a vision of a gentle coast/And a sun to maybe dissipate/Shadows of the mess you made.' Halfway through it changes tack with more choral vocals which reach out to lead the track somewhere else. It's just lead vocalist Robin Pecknold and guitar on the last track Innocent Son and it's a voice with surprising range even on this short selection. There are inevitable comparisons to Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Beach Boys and some more recent alt country outfits but I'll leave it to the band themselves to describe what they do: "We'd call this stuff baroque harmonic pop jams". Well, there you go. An album will follow in June. Can't wait.