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From the ACL taping program on October 7, 2011:
Since their eponymous debut, Fleet Foxes’ inimitable blend of pastoral harmonies with vivid lyricism and gentle baroque instrumentation has clearly demonstrated the band’s ability to captivate a widespread audience. Tonight, the band brings their modern folk ballads to the Austin City Limits stage for their first appearance on the show.
The Seattle quintet formed in 2006 through friendship and a mutual appreciation of Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Shortly after, Fleet Foxes released their first demo, the self- released Fleet Foxes EP, and quickly acquired growing popularity on their local circuit. The band had attracted over a quarter million song plays on their MySpace purely by word of mouth by the end of 2007, which soon translated into a record deal with Sub Pop Records. By 2008, the band’s self-titled debut album achieved tremendous success from fans and music critics alike and became one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2008. Rolling Stone included the album in their list of 100 Best Albums of the 2000s, while The Guardian described it to be “a landmark in American music, an instant classic.”
With the release of their newest album, Helplessness Blues, in May of this year, the band’s rise to prominence has yet to stall. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Robin Pecknold said he had intended for the album to sound “less poppy, less upbeat and more groove-based.” Focused more on cohesion and all- in-one-take recordings reminiscent of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, the album’s slight departure from their signature sound has proven to entice audiences even further. Already ranking on several Best of 2011 lists, Helplessness Blues resonates with “sophisticated, truth- seeking songs that make it feel as timeless and immortal” (The AV Club).