Fleet Foxes released their excellent fourth album Shore yesterday (9/22), after only officially announcing it one day earlier, and as Pitchfork points out, Robin Pecknold wrote a lengthy statement about the album, revealing that he already hopes to have nine new songs ready for 2021, his first written collaboratively with the other members of Fleet Foxes. Robin says:

Since the beginning, Fleet Foxes has encompassed two facets: the studio albums and the live show. The studi oalbums have always been predominantly my work and my vision; I’ve always handled all the songwriting, most of the vocals and harmonies, and most of the recording of the instrumentation, usually working most closely with one other person, a producer or bandmate, to see the album through to completion. That’s as true now as it was a decade ago. In addition to that, I’ve been lucky to participate in the great adventure of long world tours with a fairly consistent team of live collaborators who I love and respect. And since we won’t be able to collaborate live in the near future, we have begun experimenting with writing songs together, in a way that we have never done before in the history of the band. For 2021, we hope to have nine more songs ready, to augment the fifteen here. Those songs will be co-written from the ground up with Morgan Henderson, Skyler Skjelset, Casey Wescott, and Christian Wargo, in an attempt to make good use of this liminal time without extensive touring to be done. I’m incredibly excited to see where those songs end up and I hope that by the time they are done we will be able to bring all of this music to crowds around the world in some form or another.

Robin also gives a lot of the background on the album. He lists some of the artists he listened to to get into the headspace of "music that is simultaneously complex and elemental, 'sophisticated' and humane, propulsive rhythmically but feathery melodically," which would be a very good way to describe most of the music on Shore. He mentioned that he recorded part of the album at Aaron Dessner of The National's Long Pond studio in upstate New York, part of it at Woody Jackson's Electro-Vox studio in LA, where they were able to use Frank Sinatra's touring drum kit, Fela Kuti's organ, and the actual vibraphone played on Pet Sounds. (The album also samples Brian Wilson's voice from the sessions for "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)" on "Cradling Mother, Cradling Woman.") He also mentions collaborating on the album with Grizzly Bear's Christopher Bear and Daniel Rossen, Kevin Morby, Holy Hive, a children's choir featuring The Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser's daughters, and others, and he talks about how most of the music was completed before the COVID-19-induced lockdown orders, but that he actually wrote all of the lyrics during the pandemic.

"In June, I began taking day-long quarantined drives through upstate New York with no destinations in mind, not getting out of the car except to get gas between 8am and 8pm," Robin wrote. "On these long drives, the lyrics I had been searching for all year began to come to me, seemingly from nowhere. I would recite them into my phone and write them down in parking lots, and after three or four weeks of this I had lyrics for fifteen songs whereas before I had none. I couldn’t believe it. Armed with words to match the music, finally, I could finish the album."

Read his full statement here. Stream Shore below:


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