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* = all-ages
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My one and only time seeing the Fleet Foxes so far was at the Reverb festival in Ballard a few months back. I was standing next to band leader Robin Pecknold's sister, the lovely Aja, and probably would have lied about loving them to not dampen the mood or her glow. This is a case where sibling-affection is grounded in more than loyalty; I was worn out in that incredibly packed front of the Sunset Tavern, but the Fleet Foxes placed me in the center of a cascading folk-pop catharsis that washed away all weariness or suspicion.
Where I worked, an intern had forced me to play their music on their MySpace page, and I was astonished at its originality and confidence. Though tapped into 60s sources (I'm sure which KEXP DJ El Toro could probably set you straight on, but I am at a lack for pinpointing) the flow of the chaotically harmonic Wall of Sparkling Sound soft-psyche was contemporaneously bracing. But seeing the band, with all its lovely furry edges and shambolic stories and mystic fire really drew me in. I told Aja I adored them and I meant it.
Does their debut EP Sun Giant stand up to their earlier mini-album release from 2006? It's less slick, with a ragged gospel glory in the opening title track, and contains more than one new classic for the band in "Mykonos." I have been letting it unfold over the past few days and I think it will be awhile before it unveils all of its charms. This five song teaser will do nothing to diminish their current status as one of Seattle's best bands, and I feel that the June release of their full length should set them to a beautiful flight. I hope the album continues the dark edge to the new EP but that they don't leave off the shimmering pop nuggets either. I just pray a thousand bands with the word 'fox' in their name don't pop up now...