Fleet Foxes' self-titled debut was one of 2008's most critically adored records. The Seattle band pairs layers of harmonized vocals — the sort of sound that could have emerged from the 1920s or the 1970s — with shuffling drums and finger-picked guitars. In keeping with the band's name, the record's song titles ("Meadowlarks," "Blue Ridge Mountains," "Ragged Wood") suggest a bucolic vision of nature, though lead singer Robin Pecknold's lyrics occasionally hint at violence ("And Michael you would fall / and turn the white snow red / as strawberries in summertime," from "White Winter Hymnal").
Fleet Foxes' members spent the majority of 2008 on the road before taking a break to work on a follow-up to their debut. The band's performances in 2009 have been fewer but higher in profile: It played Saturday Night Live in January and Coachella in April. Currently on tour, Fleet Foxes played the All Points West festival at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., the day before taking the stage at Newport.
"Sun It Rises"
"Drops in the River"
"White Winter Hymnal"
"Blue Ridge Mountains"