Fleet Foxes recording 'pretty boring' second album

The hirsute troubadours have revealed that the follow-up to their debut LP will be 'less poppy' and 'less upbeat'. That'll be fun, eh?

Fleet Foxes have revealed that they are planning a new album for 2010, and rest assured – it'll be more boring than their debut. Frontman Robin Pecknold said the folk band's second LP will be more groove-based, "less upbeat", and recorded quickly. As one of 2008's breakthrough acts, Fleet Foxes have spent much of the last 18 months touring. "This year has been spent trying to write new songs, then going on tour, and then coming home and trying to write new songs, and then having to go back on tour again," Pecknold told Pitchfork. "It's only been in the last month or two that we've been home long enough [to work on new music]."

Fleet Foxes have rented a rehearsal space where Nirvana reportedly recorded Bleach. Pecknold said his band are "in a very early stage of recording". "I'm just going down there every day and writing songs ... I want the recording to be really fast. I want to do all the vocal takes in one go, so even if there are fuck-ups, I want them to be on there. I want there to be guitar mistakes. I want there to be not totally flawless vocals. I want to record it and have that kind of cohesive sound. [Van Morrison's] Astral Weeks, to me, is the best-sounding album because it sounds like there were only six hours in the universe for that album to be recorded in. So I want it to have that feeling."

Pecknold is also taking inspiration from Roy Harper's psychedelic classic, Stormcock, or at least its 12-string guitar. "That will be the primary sonic distancing from the last record," he said. But overall the songs will be "less poppy". "As a whole, it's probably a little bit less upbeat. Not darker – some of it has a more exuberant feel. But some of it is just more realistic ... I guess people think we're already a mellow band, so maybe the next album will be pretty boring to most people."

"On the first record, I wanted to avoid extended grooves. But there's definitely a couple of those coming in now, where the guitar part almost sounds like it could be a sample, just because it's repetitive, and then just a groove built around that part."

Besides his solo work, Pecknold has formed a new band, Rainbow Fang, with his sister (and Fleet Foxes' manager) Aja. He is also writing "film score-type music" with Past Lives' Morgan Henderson. "It's been freeing," he said. "I've been able to write music without having to think about a song, or without having to think, 'OK, this also needs to have a bridge'"

But Pecknold is not worried about how Fleet Foxes' new sound will be received. "If someone is a fan of our band, and they like one or two songs, and that style isn't on the next record, then they won't buy it, or they no longer like the band. That's fine with me. We did those songs; they still exist. People can listen to those songs if they like them."

Fleet Foxes's second album is due in "the early second half, or mid-second half" of 2010.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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