.Fleet Foxes in the Bay

Seattle’s Fleet Foxes with My Morning Jacket in support of new release 

Although bandleader Robin Pecknold has been flying the flag of soaring indie rock under the Fleet Foxes moniker for 16 years, the group-turned-collective has, to date, only released four full-length albums. 

Their latest, “Shore,” was recorded before and during the pandemic and finally saw the light of day in September 2020. In many ways, it signaled Pecknold’s need to control his surroundings when, in fact, everything around him was falling apart. And while he recorded with a cast of guests rather than using his core band, the result was what he called a celebration of “life in the face of death.”

Standout tracks like the highly infectious “Can I Believe In You?” and “Sunblind” take the listener on a sonic journey filled with highs and lows and are as reflective as they are forward-thinking. 

The 15-track opus is laden with personal anecdotes as much as it raises life questions all in the wake of Pecknold’s self-imposed time constraints. On other songs like “Featherweight” and the beautifully arranged “Maestranza,” fans are treated to a newer, more emboldened Fleet Foxes with an awkward, personalized video to accompany the full album play-through on YouTube. 

For those fans expecting a repeat of their 2017 record, “Crack-Up,” the newest album may be a head-scratcher. However, upon further inspection, “Shore” is their most complete collection of songs with a running order that compliments the songs as a larger part of something bigger than Pecknold ever expected. 

At times the listener may feel as if they are drowning, and at others, it may feel as if the surface is equally unsettling. Whether or not that was Robin’s intent, “Shore” is an all-inclusive experience meant to be enjoyed as a whole. For those with an open ear and mind, the record will please on multiple fronts. 

For those Fleet Foxes fans who’ve never heard Louisville, Kentucky’s My Morning Jacket, you’re in for real treat. Fronted by bandleader/vocalist/guitarist Jim James, this quintet released its latest self-titled record in October 2021. Although considered more of a jam band that dabbles in psychedelic rock and country, the pairing couldn’t work better. My Morning Jacket co-headlines both of the Fleet Foxes’ Bay Area appearances.

The Fleet Foxes perform at 7 pm, Friday, August 18 and Saturday, August 19 (sold out) at The Greek Theatre, 2001 Gayley Rd., Berkeley (on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley).Tickets are $69.50 and can be purchased at https://thegreekberkeley.com.

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