After three long, agonizing years of stark Robin Pecknold demos and hit-or-miss J. Tillman solo albums, Fleet Foxes as a whole finally return with their announcement of a new album, Helplessness Blues and stream of the album’s title track, which hints at an album that sticks to the sound that brought Fleet Foxes to their indie stardom in the first place. Part “Ragged Wood” and part “Mykonos”, the song divides evenly into two sections: a pastoral acoustic section and a more grandiose rock section. The song’s weakest point is the transition between these two sections because, frankly, there isn’t one. The acoustic strumming slows a bit, and the second section enters with the bluntness of a sledgehammer. The mixing between these two sections is pretty awful, so hopefully, Helplessness Blues won’t have these same issues throughout the album, considering the brilliant production that characterized the group’s self-titled debut.
Helplessness Blues is out May 3rd on Sub Pop.