Fleet Foxes on how the “horrible circumstances” of 2020 inspired new album ‘Shore’

"I think all of that stuff made its way into the lyrics"

Fleet Foxes‘ Robin Pecknold has opened up on completing the band’s surprise new album ‘Shore’ during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown.

The Seattle group released their fourth studio effort, the follow-up to 2017’s ‘Crack-Up’, earlier today (September 22) to coincide with the beginning of the autumnal equinox. It arrived with an accompanying film which was shot in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

“All the lyrics came out of reflections around what’s going on right now and tying that into personal things,” the band’s frontman told Zane Lowe on Apple Music, revealing how he “ended up just driving around in self-quarantine, writing lyrics and singing” throughout June.


Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, 2020. Credit: Emily Johnston.

“It’s a time of obviously incredible hardship, but hopefully there’s a lot of new perspective that’s being felt and new ways of doing things that will develop and new ways of making art and transmitting performances. We have to stay optimistic about that aspect while this is going on.”

Pecknold went on to explain how the events and “horrible circumstances” of 2020 had influenced ‘Shore’, and said that he’d been lacking “any kind of lyrical perspective” prior to the beginning of lockdown in March.

“I ended up having three months to just reflect and notice the world changing and be horrified and then encouraged by so much social awareness and class consciousness and all of this stuff that was kind of all of these,” he said.

“I think all of that stuff made its way into the lyrics and gave me stuff to write about, or think about that when before it was just, ‘I just got to get this thing out there regardless of what the ideas are’.”


Fleet Foxes began teasing the release of ‘Shore’ with a series of posters in Paris, images of which were subsequently shared on social media over the weekend (September 20). “And it’s in the streets of Paris that you learn of Fleet Foxes’ return on Tuesday,” a French journalist captioned a photo.