Fleet Foxes, 'Fleet Foxes' (Sub Pop)

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Fleet Foxes
Critical Mass
Label: Sub Pop

by Amanda Petrusich

After releasing Sun Giant, a five-track EP, earlier this year, Fleet Foxes have corralled their sprawling, harmony-laden rock into a remarkable debut album. Fleet Foxes feels surprisingly rural, considering the band's urban roots; the album opens with a few measures of lawless a cappella singing that wouldn't be entirely out of place on an ancient sacred-harp record, and their affinity for reverb and epic, front-porch howling will remind plenty of Kentucky's My Morning Jacket ("Blue Ridge Mountains" also name-checks Tennessee). At its best, Fleet Foxes is warm and cathartic, with all the hopefulness of a balmy summer night.

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