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Elsewhere by Graham Reid

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Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

fleet foxes

fleet foxes on Elsewhere by Graham Reid - browse 36 items of content tagged as 'fleet foxes'.

Bright Eyes: Cassadaga (Polydor) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Bright Eyes: Cassadaga (Polydor) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

A couple of years ago -- around the time Bright Eyes (Conor Oberst to his parents) broke biggish with the two 2005 albums I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (the former of songs, the latter electronics) -- I was in Tower Records in Seattle. I spotted a seven album Bright Eyes box set (yes, all vinyl) for some...

Martin Craft: Silver and Fire (Longtime Listener/Rhythmethod)

Martin Craft: Silver and Fire (Longtime Listener/Rhythmethod)

Okay, let's just hear what the British press had to say about this, the debut album from an Australian singer-songwriter now living in London. "Simply captivating" --- The Sun "A refreshing breeze to ruffle all preconceptions" -- Time Out "Divine!" -- The Observer "Pop never had it so good" --...

Elbow: The Seldom Seen Kid (Mag)

Elbow: The Seldom Seen Kid (Mag)

Back in 2001 Elbow were shortlisted for Britain's prestigious Mercury Prize for their debut album Asleep in the Back* and for my money it has all been up since then, although I suspect sales haven't followed accordingly. They are a cult name in New Zealand (mid-sized cult however) and a band that is too easy to let slip past you. But they...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (Sony/BMG)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (Sony/BMG)

As regular visitors to Elsewhere are aware, not everything posted here is a work of unalloyed genius which will be treasured down many lifetimes. (Although there are however more than a few like that I would hope.) But sometimes albums just come along that you are very glad to have heard and simply enjoy for what they mean to you on some odd...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

With its references to late 60s folk-rock, baroque pop flourishes, close harmonies, art-rock progressions and the jigsaw-puzzle of arrangements for voices and a small array of instruments (all deployed with precision, skill and understatement), this extraordinary album seems an unlikely one to have been embraced by hip rock magazines.It is is...

FLEET FOXES INTERVIEWED (2008): Their remarkable year

FLEET FOXES INTERVIEWED (2008): Their remarkable year

The big music story of 2008 wasn’t Britney back on track, Axl Rose finally delivering the Chinese Democracy album or even Kanye West sidestepping the hip-hop that made his name for an album of songs and techno-blips. It was how the self-titled and self-funded debut album from a previously unknown band -- which didn’t exist...

Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes Special Edition (SubPop)

Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes Special Edition (SubPop)

This wonderful self-titled debut album by Seattle's Fleet Foxes has already appeared at Elsewhere and was one of the Best of Elsewhere 2008 albums -- but it makes a return because this belatedly released Special Edition packages it up with the band's equally sublime Sun Giant EP which they recorded shortly before the album. The critical...

The Cave Singers: Welcome Joy (Matador)

The Cave Singers: Welcome Joy (Matador)

The debut album by this trio out of Seattle, Invitation Songs, took up residence at Elsewhere for its slightly odd, alt.folk and Old Time America quality which was propelled over the finger-picking and rocking beats by Peter Quirk's somewhat . . . err . . . quirky voice. This follows a similar path: acoustic folk-rock; a sense of mystery and...

Blitzen Trapper: Black River Killer (Sub Pop)

Blitzen Trapper: Black River Killer (Sub Pop)

This sextet from the Pacific North West hasn’t made much of an impact here, despite three albums which have drawn critical comparisons with Neil Young (in his acoustic and rock personae), Fleet Foxes and Wilco (both of whom they have opened for), folky Dylan and even Rubber Soul-era Beatles (albeit with a country-rock skew). They are...

The Dodos: Time to Die (Shock)

The Dodos: Time to Die (Shock)

As a number of overseas critics have noted, it isn’t entirely encouraging to hear singer Meric Long of this San Francisco duo announce repeatedly on Fables here, “I don’t wanna go in the fire, I just wanna stay in my home” on this, only the band’s third album. Not a man to be storming barricades at a guess despite...

Noah and the Whale: The First Days of Spring (Shock)

Noah and the Whale: The First Days of Spring (Shock)

Beauty is not a quality that popular music (ie pop, rock, r'n'b, indie-rock or whatever) places much store in: yet from the Velvet Underground through Mazzy Star and the early Cowboy Junkies to the Fleet Foxes, or from Eno to the landscape of guitars in Explosions in the Sky, there has been beauty aplenty. Beauty need not be sentimental...

THE DECEMBERISTS’ JOHN MOEN INTERVIEWED (2009): Marching to his own drum

THE DECEMBERISTS’ JOHN MOEN INTERVIEWED (2009): Marching to his own drum

With all due respect to their craft, drummers aren’t usually the people you want to interview in a band. As saxophonist Branford Marsalis -- who played in Sting’s band -- recently noted, the audience’s attention is on the singer and the guitarist, “the rest of us are just background.” And the drummer -- who...

Port O'Brien: Threadbare (Dew Process/Isaac)

Port O'Brien: Threadbare (Dew Process/Isaac)

I have been to pretty, but pretty dull Cambria in California where the core of this group hail from and I can understand why they might want to take to the road. They did and seem to have spent a lot of time in Alaska where one of them is a fisherman and the other works as a baker in Larson Bay. Then they started touring and touring after...

J Tillman: Year in the Kingdom (Shock)

J Tillman: Year in the Kingdom (Shock)

Possessing the same kind of intimate, engrossing voice of Nick Drake and with an equal interest in hushed, dreamlike ballads where death, and the transitory nature of life and love are themes, Josh Tillman offers his sixth album where the songs are barely fleshed out but the sinew and strength are immediately apparent. With discreet...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Midlake: The Courage of Others (Inertia)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Midlake: The Courage of Others (Inertia)

This quintet from Texas -- now on their third album -- has only appeared once previously at Elsewhere, a wonderful track on the collection Secret Love 4. That piece (the sample track posted with that album) was so impressive their name imprinted itself on my memory -- and then this album turns up. In the absence of hearing much else by them...

The Incredible String Band: Wee Tam and The Big Huge (1968)

The Incredible String Band: Wee Tam and The Big Huge (1968)

Sometimes for my own private amusement I will sing aloud The Incredible String Band's The Son of Noah's Brother in its entirety. All 16 seconds of it. The lyrics run, "Many were the lifetimes of the son of Noah's brother, see his coat the ragged riches of his soul". And that's it: a lovely descending melody and not a wasted...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Mumford and Sons: Sigh No More (Universal)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Mumford and Sons: Sigh No More (Universal)

This four-piece from London may have a banjo on hand and a similar way with an archaic lyric and alt.folk melody as Fleet Foxes, but here on their debut album with widescreen producer Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire's Neon Bible) they bring some dramatic urgency which kicks them clearly into the alt.rock territory. With songs which have a...

The Leisure Society: The Sleeper (Inertia)

The Leisure Society: The Sleeper (Inertia)

There is a lot of neo-folk around and you suspect the success of Fleet Foxes has prompted interest in people like Mumford and Son, the Unthanks and Joanna Newsom. This oddly named British outfit – which suggests an ambient-lounge act – should appeal to an even wider audience. With hints of McCartney at his most pastoral, a...

THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND: Away with the faeries and poets

THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND: Away with the faeries and poets

Unexpected people are into the Incredible String Band: Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin you can understand, given LedZepp played a kind of Anglofolk/Tolkein thing alongside their hijacking of black blues and other hoary riffs. But bristling DIY post-punk Chris Knox speaking highly of this slightly fey Scottish folk group who pioneered the...

Ian King: Panic Grass and Fever Few (Wing and a Prayer)

Ian King: Panic Grass and Fever Few (Wing and a Prayer)

King is in the vanguard of a diferent kind of British folk -- witness that this debut album is co-produced with Adrian Sherwood and Skip (Little Axe) McDonald. So this is folk with a world view and a dub feel -- and sounds all the better for it. King is straight out of that earnest, well-enunciated and slightly stern school of vocal delivery,...

Stornoway: Beachcomber's Windowsill (4AD)

Stornoway: Beachcomber's Windowsill (4AD)

Named for a small town in the Outer Hebrides and affecting a kind of folksy pop, Stornoway from Oxford pull light and slightly satirical styles (We Are The Battery Humans with its references to people born to be free-range but preferring to watch television) together with Anglofolk of the Amazing Blondel-to-Fleet Foxes continuum and literary...

Mountain Man: Made the Harbor (Spunk)

Mountain Man: Made the Harbor (Spunk)

Here's an unusual and interesting one: Mountain Man are actually three young women Molly Erin Sarle, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig and Amelia Randall Meath from various parts of the great USA who met at Bennington College in Vermont. Inspired by a mutual love of a kind of alt.folk and old time country -- and a cappella singing -- they formed this...

The Broken Heartbreakers: Wintersun (BHB)

The Broken Heartbreakers: Wintersun (BHB)

The self-titled debut album by this Auckland-based folk-pop band was among the Best of Elsewhere 2007 list -- and they have just been getting better. No surprise really given that alongside the core duo of John Guy Howell and Rachel Bailey are Sam Prebble (who, as Bond Street Bridge, appeared in the following year's Best of Elsewhere with his...

Dylan LeBlanc: Paupers Field (Rough Trade)

Dylan LeBlanc: Paupers Field (Rough Trade)

From the understated openers with their gentle backbeat, soft organ and steel guitar, LeBlanc -- barely 21, out of Louisiana -- announces himself as part of a long lineage which stretches back to the country-soul out of Muscle Shoals studio (where his dad  was a session musician) and the country-rock of the early Band, but which also...

The Magic Numbers: The Runaway (Shock)

The Magic Numbers: The Runaway (Shock)

By abandoning the pure pop-economy of their terrific, 05 self-titled debut for the more embellished and ambitious sound Those the Brokes in 06, this English outfit of two sets of siblings lost followers, and momentum. But where that debut was a radio/car album, Brokes was a headphones experience. The openers here – a...

Yes: Keys to Ascension (CD/DVD, Proper/Southbound)

Yes: Keys to Ascension (CD/DVD, Proper/Southbound)

San Luis Obispo isn't a name you readily associate with rock music. The picturesque coastal town in northern California -- near Hearst's castle -- still isn't on the radar despite it being the place where Yes -- the original line-up -- relaunched their career in '95. Well, "relaunched" might be overstating it, but they certainly...

Isbells: Isbells (Zealrecords)

Isbells: Isbells (Zealrecords)

In which former rocker Gaeten Vandewoude of Belgium discovers his inner Jose Gonzalez and with a few friends and some multi-tracking also realises he had Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel lurking in there too. This is not an unfamiliar path (Gonzalez did the rock thing first, so did Findlay Brown, and Fink used to deal in hip-hop) but it leads to...

Richard Thompson: Rumor and Sigh (1991)

Richard Thompson: Rumor and Sigh (1991)

Like Elvis Costello, Christy Moore, the late John Martyn and a few others in a very select company, English singer/songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson made timeless albums. Pick up any of his from the early Eighties or even the late Seventies and they make as much sense today as they did then. Yet after more than 45 years in the...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Iron and Wine: Kiss Each Other Clean (4AD)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Iron and Wine: Kiss Each Other Clean (4AD)

The previous album The Shepherd's Dog by Texas' Iron and Wine (Sam Beam) was fully three years ago and was one of the Best of Elsewhere 2007 albums. So anticipation is high for this -- although might have been higher a year ago, but I guess he works at his own pace. And we forgive him because he delivered the excellent Around the Well...

Timothy Armstrong: Portraits (TA)

Timothy Armstrong: Portraits (TA)

Based in Wellington, New Zealand this singer-songwriter is also in the band The Novelist but has run a parallel but separate career as a solo artist. This, the second outing under his own name, appeared in the last quarter of 2010 but has been making its way slowly into the world since, picking up favourable comment from longtime followers...

GUY GARVEY OF ELBOW INTERVIEWED (2011): A homecoming to the top

GUY GARVEY OF ELBOW INTERVIEWED (2011): A homecoming to the top

The very personable Guy Garvey – songwriter and singer for the award-grabbing British band Elbow – laughs when he describes himself as “a rock star”, in part because at 37 he's getting a bit old for that game, but mostly because he knows he looks more like the plump Ricky Gervais than the buffed Ricky Martin....

Chris Hurn: Too Busy Dreamin' (Monkey)

Chris Hurn: Too Busy Dreamin' (Monkey)

While owing a clear debt to Paul Simon, the young Dylan, early Donovan and others in the acoustic singer-songwriter category, this young guy from Lower Hutt just north of Wellington, New Zealand brings a pop sensibility to his writing (the openers here Watch Got and Only One I Need hook you immediately) and often a deliberately light touch...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop)

A propos of not much, Fleet Foxes' chief songwriter Robin Pecknold recently recorded New Zealand singer-songwriter Chris Thompson's Where is My Wild Rose? for an EP and it appears on You Tube (just with stills) here. But . . . to the matter in hand. If it's fair to say FFoxes' debut album was unexpected, then we might also observe...

The Middle East: I Want That You Are Always Happy (Unspk)

The Middle East: I Want That You Are Always Happy (Unspk)

When a five song EP by this group out of Townsville appeared in '09 Elsewhere erroneously reported they had broken up and mourned their passing. Fortunately we were quickly corrected -- misinformation is easy to find on the internet, huh? -- and so therefore this album has been welcomed. Recorded in Australia and in Midlake's studio in...

Richard Thompson: The Folk City Broadcast (Left Field Media)

Richard Thompson: The Folk City Broadcast (Left Field Media)

There seem no half-measures with the legendary English singer-guitarist Richard Thompson. People either “get” him or – despite acclaim as one of Britain's greatest guitarists, the OBE and honorary PhD he received this year, and being credited as founding British folk-rock with Fairport Convention in the early 70s –...

The Sleepy Jackson: Personality (EMI)

The Sleepy Jackson: Personality (EMI)

I was surprised that this ambitious neo-psychedelic pop album -- which has been winning huge praise in the UK -- wasn't heftily reviewed here, especially since the visionary behind it (who has drawn comparisons with Brian Wilson) is a former Kiwi now based in Perth, Luke Steele. So let's bring this one to your attention: a lushly produced,...

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