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22 September 2020

Fleet Foxes drop surprise new album ‘Shore’

Fleet Foxes Robin Pecknold 2018
Roger Garfield/Alamy Stock Photo
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Fleet Foxes, the band formed by Robin Pecknold in Seattle, Washington in 2006, released their fourth album, Shore, in a surprise drop this afternoon, to tie in with the Autumnal Equinox – the time when the sun is exactly above the equator, and night and day are of equal length. The album is also accompanied by a 16mm road movie of the same name, created by the artist Kersti Jan Werdal, which takes in views of the landscape of the Pacific Northwest, set to the score of Shore. It was filmed over the course of a month in Washington, Oregon, and Western Idaho. The director explained that she, “listened to the album while driving, and observationally shot landscapes that I felt resonated with the music, yet also stood on their own,” and that she hopes that “the film, much like the album does, reflects optimism and strength”.

The album was recorded before and during the Covid-19 quarantine, in Hudson (NY), Paris, Los Angeles, Long Island City, and New York City between September 2018 and September 2020, with Pecknold accompanied by the recording and production engineer, Beatriz Artola, and spans 15 songs. It was originally inspired by some of Pecknold’s musical heroes, which include Arthur Russell, Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, and Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam, whose records championed positivity when faced with bleak situations.

Pecknold revealed that his usual state of anxiety surrounding creativity and making a new album was diluted by global politics. He notes that, “since March, with a pandemic spiraling 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.”

And while there won’t be a tour to accompany the album any time soon, it has left Pecknold and his Fleet Foxes bandmates looking at other ways to get creative, and to find new ways of recording more music.

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