Fleet Foxes have released their surprise new album – listen to ‘Shore’ in full below.
The album was shared at 2.31pm (BST) today (September 22) to mark the beginning of the autumnal equinox. It was first teased with posters displayed around Paris at the weekend.
‘Shore’ follows the band’s 2017 album ‘Crack-Up’, and was recorded in New York, Paris, Hudson, Los Angeles and Long Island City between September 2018 and September 2020.
“I see “shore” as a place of safety on the edge of something uncertain, staring at Whitman’s waves reciting ‘death’,” frontman Robin Pecknold said of the new album in a statement. “Tempted by the adventure of the unknown at the same time you are relishing the comfort of the stable ground beneath you. This was the mindset I found, the fuel I found, for making this album.”
Listen to ‘Shore’ below.
The album comes complete with an accompanying film, also entitled Shore. It was shot in Washington, Oregon and Idaho on 16mm film by Kersti Jan Werdal. “I listened to the album while driving, and observationally shot landscapes that I felt resonated
with the music, yet also stood on their own,” Werdal explained.
“The film is intended to co-exist and engage with the album, rather than be in a direct and symbiotic relationship with it. The urban and narrative scenes interact with the more surreal landscapes, rather than sit in opposition of one another. My hope is that the film, much like the album does, reflects optimism and strength.”
Watch the film below.
Speaking of the new album, Pecknold added: “Since the unexpected success of the first Fleet Foxes album over a decade ago, I have spent more time than I’m happy to admit in a state of constant worry and anxiety. Worried about what I should make, how it will be received, worried about the moves of other artists, my place amongst them, worried about my singing voice and mental health on long tours. I’ve never let myself enjoy this process as much as I could, or as much as I should.
“By February 2020, I was again consumed with worry and anxiety over this
album and how I would finish it. But since March, with a pandemic spiralling out of
control, living in a failed state, watching and participating in a rash of protests and
marches against systemic injustice, most of my anxiety around the album disappeared. It
just came to seem so small in comparison to what we were all experiencing together.
“In its place came a gratitude, a joy at having the time and resources to devote to making
sound, and a different perspective on how important or not this music was in the grand
scheme of things. Music is both the most inessential and the most essential thing. We
don’t need music to live, but I couldn’t imagine life without it. It became a great gift to no
longer carry any worry or anxiety around the album, in light of everything that is going
NME gave Fleet Foxes’ last album, 2017’s ‘Crack-Up’, a four-star album review, writing: “Some may be unconvinced by the ambitious leap Fleet Foxes have made on album three, but there’s really no doubting the first-rate intelligence behind this uncompromising and ever-changing piece of work.”