Yesterday, Fleet Foxes announced they’d be releasing a new album today (Sept. 22) to coincide with the autumnal equinox. True to their word, that album, Shore, is out now.
A 55-minute film of the same name, directed by Kersti Jan Werdal, is also out.
The album was recorded between September 2018 through this month, but it took until quarantine for singer Robin Pecknold to really get going. The singer released a lengthy statement on the album, part of which you can see below.
Since the unexpected success of the first Fleet Foxes album over a decade ago, I have spent more time than I’m happy to admit in a state of constant worry and anxiety. Worried about what I should make, how it will be received, worried about the moves of other artists, my place amongst them, worried about my singing voice and mental health on long tours. I’ve never let myself enjoy this process as much as I could, or as much as I should. I’ve been so lucky in so many ways in my life, so lucky to be born with the seeds of the talents I have cultivated and lucky to have had so many unreal experiences. Maybe with luck can come guilt sometimes. I know I’ve welcomed hardship wherever I could find it, real or imagined, as a way of subconsciously tempering all this unreal luck I’ve had.
By February 2020, I was again consumed with worry and anxiety over this album and how I would finish it. But since March, with a pandemic spiraling out of control, living in a failed state, watching and participating in a rash of protests and marches against systemic injustice, most of my anxiety around the album disappeared. It just came to seem so small in comparison to what we were all experiencing together. In its place came a gratitude, a joy at having the time and resources to devote to making sound, and a different perspective on how important or not this music was in the grand scheme of things. Music is both the most inessential and the most essential thing. We don’t need music to live, but I couldn’t imagine life without it. It became a great gift to no longer carry any worry or anxiety around the album, in light of everything that is going on. A tour may not happen for a year, music careers may not be what they once were. So it may be, but music remains essential. This reframing was another stroke of unexpected luck I have been the undeserving recipient of. I was able to take the wheel completely and see the album through much better than I had imagined it, with help from so many incredible collaborators, safe and lucky in a new frame of mind.
Interestingly, Brian Wilson has an appearance on the album with sampled vocals on “Cradling Mother, Cradling Woman,” as does Kevin Morby on “Sunblind” and Hamilton Leithauser (and family) on “Wading In Waist-High Water” and “Young Man’s Game.”
See the Shore tracklisting and video below.
Wading In Waist-High Water
Can I Believe You
A Long Way Past The Past
For A Week Or Two
Young Man’s Game
I’m Not My Season
Quiet Air / Gioia
Cradling Mother, Cradling Woman