I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s a little bit in love with the new Fleet Foxes album, Helplessness Blues, which combines the intense, often haunted imagery of contemporary folk with the weird, questing traditions of the mountain music so much of it draws upon, and then –so effortlessly it’s almost scary – manages to transcend both. I often worry about just how much contemporary folk is basically pastiche, and fairly reactionary pastiche at that, but Helplessness Blues certainly isn’t: it’s something strange and beautiful and entirely itself, and I can’t recommend it enough.
If you’re not familiar with Fleet Foxes, or not in a hurry to front up the dollars for Helplessness Blues, you might want to download their recent BBC 1 session, which is available for free via We All Want Someone To Shout For.
And while you’re downloading free recordings of live sets you might also want to check out Blitzen Trapper’s 2008 Daytrotter session, which features two of my favourite Blitzen Trapper Tracks, ‘Furr’ and ‘Not Your Lover’.
And finally, while poking around trying to find clips from Helplessness Blues I discovered Vetiver have a new album on the way in a few weeks. Given what a joy Tight Knit was, that’s definitely something to look forward to.