Album Review: Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up

For many indie-folk lovers, Fleet Foxes are undoubtedly a favorite, if not the favorite band. Their music is uniquely magnificent and vintage, and after more than 5 years we’ve finally been graced with another excellent album by these guys.

While Crack-Up reveals an evolved sound, with lengthier and stylistically diverse songs, the album does not lose nor stray far from the magic and beauty that is Fleet Foxes. You can distinguish Robin Pecknold’s voice from miles away, his vocal always adding an irreplaceably heavenly quality to every song. Crack-Up is beautiful, thoughtful, and complex, so listen carefully as to not miss the subtleties that make this album so special and worth the wait.

The record starts off with I Am All that I Need/Arroyo Seco/Thumbprint Scar, a perfect example of Fleet Foxes being innovative while keeping their original essence that we so admire. Throughout this song, there are fleeting samples of what sound like birds chirping, a door opening, and water splashing. The sonic intricacies that are so seamlessly integrated here really showcase the intellectual maturity and skill Pecknold possesses and has gained as a composer, and set the tone for a great album ahead.

Kept Woman highlights Pecknold’s angelic, crystalline voice as the piano and guitar softly flutter in the background which accompanys the melody, making for a very organic feel. The album picks up again with Third of May/Ōdaigahara; another more traditional Fleet Foxes piece building up to a grand, harmonious chorus. It starts off acoustically until the electric guitar and strings come in making for some glorious folk-rock. A truly multi-faceted song, it ends with meditative, earthy acoustic sounds. The drama drops down some notches with If You Need To, Keep Time on Me, an acoustic piece with a lovely melody. On Another Ocean (January/June) begins with minimal artistic sounds, with the second part developing into more alternative folk, with of course, a gorgeous melody.

In a sea of folk artists, Fleet Foxes brilliantly stand out as pioneers in folk music today. Crack-Up is a blissful bundle of songs, and the record will certainly overwhelm you with moments of euphoria. With many multi-part pieces, Crack-Up is a compilation of classic Fleet Foxes with a remarkably intelligent modern twist. This stunning album with plenty of texture and majestic melodies is sure to remain memorable for years to come.

Julia Kwan