Posted by: Johnny Loftus on June 4, 2008 at 9:00 am

Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop, 2008)

Listen: “Meadowlarks”

Let’s hear it for the voice. Fleet Foxes bring it back on their debut full-length for Sub Pop, way back, right to that sweet spot where the circle remains unbroken, and in those stands of Northern California Sequoias where the sunbeams are as wide as the trees themselves. In “White Winter Hymnal,” the My Morning Jacket-ish “Ragged Wood,” and the burnt sienna daydream of “Meadowlarks,” it’s Fleet Foxes’ adoration for the human voice that shines through. Harmonies breathe like a bearded church choir in the country wind, and guitars pluck like English folk musicians jamming with a bunch of hill people. (“Blue Ridge Mountains” is like a land bridge between Appalachia and the Middle Ages.) The voices caress the instruments, and actually really hog the record. But no one’s complaining, and if they are, we can’t hear them. — Thomas Rooker White

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