Fleet Foxes Take a Successful, Proggy Turn on Their Third Album, ‘Crack-Up’

Six years after their sophomore album and almost a decade on from their 2008 debut, Fleet Foxes have released their third full-length, Crack-Up, on June 16. The album finds Robin Pecknold and company exploring new sonic territory.

fleet foxes crack up album fleetfoxesalbumcoverMany of the songs on Crack-Up take something of a progressive turn, featuring multiple movements and various digressions. Opening track “I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar,” as the name suggests moves through three different sections, beginning quietly with little more than Pecknold’s voice and gently strummed guitar before more guitar, strings, and drums abruptly jump in, mid-line. This second, livelier section, continues for most of the song before ending as suddenly as it began. A brief third section returns to the soft folk of the song’s beginning. As it begins to fade out, an experimental coda enters—a sample of a high school chorus performing the band’s breakout song “White Winter Hymnal.”

Not all of the songs on Crack-Up are as complicated as its opening track. “Kept Woman” and “Fool’s Errand” both hew closer, though not entirely, to a traditional verse-chorus-verse structure than the rest of the album. The refrain in “Kept Woman” contains the first words of the song and doesn’t repeat until the song’s end. Meanwhile, for much of its four and three-quarter minute runtime, “Fool’s Errand” feels like a classic Fleet Foxes song before closing out with an extended coda on the piano.

Both the more accessible, pop-oriented songs and the darker proggy songs are essential to Crack-Up. Taken together, they present a band expanding and experimenting with its sound without losing the core sound that makes it unique. Though Crack-Up is less immediately accessible than Fleet Foxes or Helplessness Blues, it rewards multiple listens.

Fleet Foxes’ Crack-Up is out now through Nonesuch Records and is available on Amazon, iTunes, and Nonesuch’s online shop.


Ski Butlers are a Thing. We Went to the Rockies to Find Out What they Do and Why

Why the saviest skiers and smartest shredders enlist the help of a ski butler to service and set up their gear.

Mother of God, Listen to the Aston Martin Valkyrie Roar

No other car sounds like this.

Levi’s Wellthread X Outerknown Clean Up Dirty Denim with Fall 2018 Collab

Each of these products are built with their end in mind.

Cyber Wildlife Crime Sucks. But You Can Help Fight It Right There From Your Computer

The biggest marketplace for the illegal trade of wildlife isn't Africa or China, it's the web.

It’s Good to be Alive: Tunes to Get You Pumped About Life

From stone-cold classics to more obscure modern tracks, this Spotify playlist has been tailored to help you high-five the cosmos.
Food & Drink

Def Leppard’s Got Their Own Beer Now

No foolin’ — you’re going to need more than a photograph of this new brew from Elysian Brewing Company.

What You Need to Create the Ultimate Man Cave for Music Lovers

Immerse yourself in sound and style with these products perfect for your own personal listening room.
Food & Drink

The Best Playlist to Enjoy While Day Drinking

Next time you plan on day drinking, put on this Spotify playlist and ride the wave.

New Music Preview: Kamasi Washington, Neko Case, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

June has plenty of new album releases in store, but there are three particular records coming out this month that we can’t wait to hear.

Best Road Trip Songs: Hit Play Then Hit the Gas

Ah, the open road! It beckons us to cast aside responsibility, embrace the unknown, jump in the car, and just go. Take this mixtape with you.
Food & Drink

Sink Your Teeth Into the Best Summer Barbecue Playlist

Take your cookout from genetically modified slumping to organic, farm-to-table bumping.

Cut the Cord with the Best Wireless Headphones for Running

It's easier to get in the zone with your favorite tunes when you don't have to worry about pesky wires.

How Bose Sleepbuds ‘Non-headphones’ Promise a Better Night’s Sleep

Replace snoring partners or screaming babies with soothing sounds to help you fall (and stay) asleep.