This following song was the soundtrack to my late winter 2008 and early 2009, during a time when I spent a lot of time in Boston / Cambridge. The Fleet Foxes are a Seattle-based band who do beautiful songs about dreams within dreams washed by unbelievable harmonies, voices stacked on each other like a million parallel rail lines from here to the horizon.
Their first album, self-titled, appeared in 2008 and they just released their sophomore effort, Helplessness Blues, which I am told, is just as good, if not better than the debut. The people in the band seem kinda young (mid-20s), and maybe that's one reason why their music seems dislodged in time, without influence or context. Sometimes the voices remind me of the Everly Brothers, that crazy dream harmony that they used to conjure up in songs like "All I Have to Do is Dream" and "Cathy's Clown." But where the Everly Brothers sang about unrequied love, Fleet Foxes sing about weird make-believe worlds, lives kidnapped from Medieval times. The cover of their first album was a Dutch painting from the 16th century (actually by a Flemish Renaissance painter by the name of Pieter Bruegel the Elder).
This song, "White Winter Hymnal" is spine-tingling-ly beautiful. It was the single off the album and undoubtedly the best song from it. The video is a little off-putting but just close your eyes and put on repeat. There is something mesmerizing at work here.
Unable to embed in my blog, but click here for the video. And here is a live performance.