Robin Pecknold: Fleet Foxes, Meet Grizzly Bear

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A duet with Ed Droste, Robin Pecknold's "I'm Losing Myself" isn't a Fleet Foxes song. But it's equally valuable.

A duet with Ed Droste, Robin Pecknold's "I'm Losing Myself" isn't a Fleet Foxes song. But it's equally valuable. Sean Pecknold hide caption

toggle caption Sean Pecknold

Tuesday's Pick

Song: "I'm Losing Myself (feat. Ed Droste)"

Artist: Robin Pecknold

CD: Three Songs

Genre: Folk

NPR Music will stream live audio and video of a Fleet Foxes concert Tuesday night at Stubb's in Austin, Texas. Return to the site at 9:30 p.m. ET for the full show.

On a dreary Monday morning in March, Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold decided to release some new music. So he took to his band's Twitter account and shared a simple download link. In a matter of hours, millions had snagged these three impeccable, previously unheard recordings.

There's a lot to like in this process: direct access, the surprise factor and, of course, the lack of a price tag. But, with so little buildup, in 24 hours the release was buried under a deluge of new music headlines. For those not perusing the Internet in that short window, these songs might as well never have existed; just try not to blink.

"I'm Losing Myself" is a beautifully understated folk duet worth dwelling on, with Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste lending his voice in measured, tasteful adornments. Droste's reserve, along with a quiet guitar accompaniment, keeps Pecknold's words front-and-center. The two singers channel a character bent on self-disparagement, stuck in cycles of comparison and jealousy. The tune, along with the others on what Pecknold is calling Three Songs, provides a reminder of his commanding, classic folk sensibility. Pecknold told his band's followers that "these aren't Fleet Foxes songs," but they're equally valuable: This conspicuously self-leaked set stands nobly alongside Fleet Foxes' long-awaited sophomore LP, Helplessness Blues.

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