Last month, the indie folk band Fleet Foxes released their first album in six years, The Crack-Up. I was ecstatic when I randomly went to their Spotify page and found the album – after they released Helplessness Blues in 2011, the band more or less fell off the radar.
The Crack-Up doesn’t stray too far from Fleet Foxes’ initial folksy sound, although this album has more of a melancholic tone, and hits closer to home compared to their previous recordings. Lead vocalist Robin Pecknold’s voice is immediately recognizable.
My favorite song from the album is “On Another Ocean (January / June)” – this song has stuck with me all summer long. Evidently in the song’s title, it’s split into two different parts – January and June. The song in its entirety is captivating, but my favorite part is the second half – June – which starts at 2:06. The transition is unexpected but as the music picks up, it flows through you and really grabs your attention, especially the lyrics. The composition of the second half of this song is so hauntingly beautiful. It’s probably one of Fleet Foxes’ best songs to date.
“If only anything could change you
If only you knew what you claim to
If only every sign you cling to
If only they were so”
We all have a song or two that we listen to when we can’t fall asleep – when our minds are messes of questions and hypothetical scenarios. Staring-at-the-ceiling songs. This is what “On Another Ocean” is to me. When the second half starts I suddenly become increasingly self-aware, and think about everywhere I’ve been – my past, present, and future. This is a song of longing, one that describes the passing of time in such a way that I feel differently every time I listen to it.
This song isn’t reserved for my insomnia-ridden nights, though. I take it everywhere with me. I put it in a playlist for my friend. I played it in another friend’s car yesterday as we were making our way through hellish rush hour traffic, as the hot July sun glared through the windows.
“Tune any eye into the ivy
And I won’t bleed out if I know me
All I need oh don’t deny me
You ended up too strained”
What I like most about this song is that it reminds you of your own humanness. As the last few lines are belted out by Pecknold, you can feel his urgency. The instruments die down and the song fades out, and suddenly you’re snapped out of entrancement. I’m always left wishing the song was longer.
As you can probably tell, my music library is all over the place, considering the last two installments of “pressing play” covered a Taylor Swift song and an Adam Levine song. But I like to think that any amount of variety is always a good thing.
If you’re feeling up to it, check out this song, and even Fleet Foxes’ entire discography. They won’t disappoint.