This past summer, while living at Quincy and doing research at the National Archives, I had a chance to see the Fleet Foxes at the 9:30 Club. Who are the Fleet Foxes, you ask. A fair question. I described them to my family thus:
They're a high-energy alternative folk band featuring lots of harmonizing. (Four of the five guys in the band do vocals.) Imagine the Beech Boys had a folk conversion, grew beards and moved to West Virginia for a couple years. That would give you something of an approximation.
Let's be honest: concerts are loud. Too loud, in my opinion. But while the 9:30 Club's audio engineer kept the volume at its usual level, the effect was something different. The concert felt like being hit by a solid wall of harmony. Loud, yes, but far more than just noise. Aja Pecknold, sister of the band's front man, describes a similar experience:
The first time I heard “Boots of Spanish Leather,” it was as if all of the oxygen had been drained from the room, suddenly replaced with the wavering golden longing of this one song.
I've included a few YouTube videos, for your viewing pleasure. Above is "He Doesn't Know Why," from their self-titled album. Below is "Blue Ridge Mountains" from the same.
And then there's this one, "White Winter Hymnal," with some slightly scary claymation, but a really awesome song: