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The Review - MUSIC - grooves with RóISíN GADELRAB
Published: 5 February 2009

Roundhouse dates
Fleet streets ahead in adding their own style to old sound


FROM time to time there are revolutions in music. But more often than not things move in cycles, with old styles being revisited.
As a rule, the records these trips into the past produce are 40-odd minutes of bile – just look at Madonna’s twirl on the disco dance floor.
And more recently, a large part of the music industry has been busy copying the sound of 1970s soul and grafting it, in the most unimaginably bland manner, onto the vocal cords of pretty young things of the 21st century.
But in the magical world of indie, and in the form of Fleet Foxes, there is a far more ­subtle movement.
The Foxes have brought the delicate sound of 1970s folk back to life, and theirs is a cycle reaching a high point – more of a renaissance than a revolution, return or repeat.
That’s not to say the Foxes are simply doing a good job at aping folk music. Listening to the band’s debut album, released last year, you might get a clear ­window on their record collections (and their dads’). But what the Foxes have done – and done brilliantly – is cherry pick elements of the rock/pop/folk ­con­ver­gence that reached its zenith with the likes of CSNY, Dylan and the Beach Boys, and blend it into something that sounds fresh and ­entirely their own.
The Foxes are worth seeing – and their album is worth buying – for one track alone: White Winter Hymnal.
Not since David Crosby ran a harmonic hand over the Judy Blue Eyes has there been sweeter layers of vocals committed to record.
For anyone who ­wishes they were going to gigs in the 1970s, here’s your chance to pretend you were.

* Fleet Foxes play the Roundhouse on February 22-24 at 8pm

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