“I wanted to make an album that celebrated life in the face of death.”
The mission statement that accompanied this release carried an undeniably beautiful if wildly ambitious sentiment, one which would require an artist of considerable power to pull off a work of such calibre. Fortunately, Robin Pecknold is such a songwriter, and Shore is another wondrous gem of a record to add to Fleet Foxes’ already astounding portfolio.
Fleet Foxes’ fourth album follows headier records in 2011’s Helplessness Blues and 2017’s Crack Up, and while both albums stand as undoubted milestones in modern folk, Shore is a remarkably fresh breath of air in their wake. Gone is the complexity and density of the band’s recent work, replaced by the most joyous songs that Pecknold has written since their self-titled 2008 debut, with which Shore shares its earthy folk vibes and sunny disposition. In fact, despite its prevalent autumnal theme, there is a strong element of Indian summer to Shore, with the lazy sun and unseasonably warm air that hangs over its delicate compositions.
While it may not capture of the depth and complexity of the band’s sophomore masterpiece, it’s not searching for that level of profundity. Typically immaculate in its conception and craft, Fleet Foxes’ timeless celebration of life and nature is a perfectly timed triumph. Andrew Lambert
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