Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop / Outside Music)

Critics and the public alike have been eagerly anticipating the sophomore record from Seattle’s Fleet Foxes. Since the release of their 2008 debut, the group has steadily earned their stripes, becoming arguably more popular in the UK than in North America. Combining the harmonic influences like The Beach Boys with the simplistic nature of Simon & Garfunkel, Fleet Foxes are simply one of the best harmony-driven folk-rock bands on the market today. At first, I found that Helplessness Blues did not quite have the immediate impact of their debut however with repeated listens, tracks like the title track, Sim Sala Bim and Lorelai began to stand-out as being nothing less than stellar. And frankly, that seems to be the order of the day. Many bands would have crumbled under such pressure to create such a memorable second album but Fleet Foxes certainly rose to the challenge and then some.