Shore, I Will Listen: Fleet Foxes’ Shore Review, by Heather Rolfert
Shore, Fleet Foxes’ newest album, conjures visions of beaches, waves, and joy under the sun, but as for the music itself, I had no idea what to expect. Would I hear music like the music on alternative radio stations, or would this music be more relaxed? Once I heard the strums of a guitar, I realized that my expectations of slow melodies were correct. Thankfully, I took notes, because I soon became lost in the music and drifted away into a daydream of sun and seas.
Relaxed tempos with occasional fast rones
Prominent lessons about life
Intriguing volumes of vocalizations
Wading in Waist-High Water is the first song on the album. The opening lines say:
“Summer all over
Blame it on timing
Weakening August water
Loose-eyed in the morning
Sunlight covered over
Wading in sight of fire.”
These lines refer to the wave of emotions present in a relationship. In the beginning, the singer emphasizes that, on certain days, unwelcomed feelings will flow in from the past. During other times within their life, they can be seen putting their life on the line as those feelings drift further away from them. Blame can then be placed on those feelings as the speaker’s resolve to fix the relationship is washed away. The lyrics are not the only evidence of a relationship heading for disaster. The music represents the mixed emotions of the speaker as they navigate through right and wrong. Drip, drip, drip. Can this relationship change? Drip, drip, drip. Would it be right for it to become something else? Drip, drip, drip. Should it stay the way it is?
Cradling Mother, Cradling Woman reminds me of the sunshine and smiles that accompany me while I hunt for seashells across warm sands, how those hidden treasures of the tide lure me in and entice me to keep searching for more speckled spirals. I can hear the thump, thump, thump of my heart as the waves slide away to reveal a hidden world full of new discoveries.
Throughout this fantastical vision, the drums and brass instruments work together to heighten my emotions. When I hear them, I see myself taking on the impossible: My arms glide through the air as I balance on a surfboard. I’m carried higher and higher on a wave to a place where there’s only the sound of water. I never let the waves overcome me as I travel back to where my journey began.
Shore is an album sure to transport listeners to fantastic seas and even greater music.