Following a three-year break, indie-folk outfit Fleet Foxes has returned with its fourth studio album, Shore, released this autumnal equinox. Their 2017 release, Crack-Up, saw songwriter Robin Pecknold traipsing into structurally abstract territory. On Shore, Pecknold takes his orchestral, reinvented-’60s-rock sound and places it into a more contextualized format, generously embroidering it with Seattle-born brass quartet, the Westerlies. An intently uplifting work, Shore was written and produced by Pecknold without his bandmates—a first under the Fleet Foxes name.
Pecknold uses the guitar like a composer, writing simple motifs from which he extrapolates scenic, technicolor arrangements featuring acoustic and electric interplay, guiding with melodic lines (“Sunblind” and “Thymia”), creating gentle textures on songs like “Featherweight” and “A Long Way Past the Past,” and at times echoing his Beach Boys-esque, reverb-bathed vocals (“Maestranza”). Shore breathes with a sense of midsummer freedom and contemplation, offering a new heart to a tiring season.
Must-hear tracks: “Featherweight,” “Maestranza”