Cen­tury

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

re­cently re­leased sec­ond record, Help­less­ness Blues. Yet try­ing to cram the Fleet Foxes story into a 20-minute phone con­ver­sa­tion with a man who hes­i­tates to speak about the al­bum’s fiercely per­sonal themes is a big ask, es­pe­cially when he spends what seems like hours care­fully weigh­ing up each ques­tion be­fore re­ply­ing.

The al­bum has un­doubt­edly been well-re­ceived, al­though not as vo­ra­ciously or quickly as its pre­de­ces­sor – but that’s to be ex­pected, Pec­knold agrees.

“Once the record’s done, it’s done,” he says. “Noth­ing any­one is gonna say is gonna change the record it­self. It’s been a long process. We sort of know what we want to do next any­way, so it doesn’t re­ally mat­ter how this one’s re­ceived. Right now, the new songs feel like they haven’t fully so­lid­i­fied yet, but in a cool way, y’know? We’re still try­ing live stuff with them, and dif­fer­ent ways of per­form­ing them. When you per­form a song hun­dreds of times, like we did with the first al­bum, you sort of get it to a cer­tain place where it’s not even like a live ver­sion any­more. So it’s cool to be play­ing new ones that don’t have as much mus­cle mem­ory to them yet.”

In any case, it’s not as if the Seat­tle band rely on crit­i­cal val­i­da­tion – nor, in most cases, ex­pect it. Pec­knold has grounds to be some­what wary of the press these days; a re­cent pub­lic spat on Twit­ter with NME (Pec­knold ac­cused the mag­a­zine’s web­site of

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