Fleet Foxes, "Helplessness Blues" (Sub Pop)

The miraculous multi-part harmonies remain, but on its second album, this Seattle band broadens and deepens its sound. The arrangements are more sprawling and pack more punch, even making room for a free-jazz freakout. On the title song, singer Robin Pecknold declares his desire to "be a functioning cog in some great machinery, serving something beyond me." This beautiful album is the soundtrack for that search.
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