I have a strange, intense relationship with music. It affects me so much that there are periods where I choose not to listen to any at all.
Some music from my past is so special that I deliberately avoid it; I don’t want the potency of the memories eroded by constant exposure.
Other albums, tracks and voices can unlock memories so dangerous and painful that I prefer them to stay locked up in deep, dark, distant caverns, never to be visited again.
If I listen to new music during moments of intense emotion, it will be coloured forever by that moment. So I like to be alone, to choose where I am and what I’m doing the first time I listen to a new CD.
I enjoy music on the radio because the playlists are out of my control. Music comes and goes as the charts change. I take the good with the bad and the DJ banter. But sometimes, I hear a track that makes me want to rush out and buy the whole album.
That happened with the single ‘Mykonos’ by Seattle band, Fleet Foxes. I now own the CD, the eponymous ‘Fleet Foxes’.
‘Mykonos’ is haunting. It made my ears prick up the first time I heard it; so unusual, so uncommercial, refreshing and different. It had a unique haunting ‘sound’ of its own, a distinct colour that had nothing to do with the lyrics. To be honest, I didn’t even register the lyrics. The harmonies and travelling rhythms made it a soundtrack for a ‘road trip’ movie yet to be made!
The CD hasn’t disappointed me either. More weird, unusual, difficult to define tracks that connect straight to the soul and bypass the brain. Guitar pieces reminiscent of early Leonard Cohen; a whisper of pan pipes; effortless, vibrant vocals and harmonies that reminded me of Gregorian chants, church spirituals, Neil Young, Aztec Two Step, Blue Grass music, British folk, the Beach Boys and something poignantly late 60’s early 70’s. Folk rock, bluesy ballads, a bizarrely timeless and eclectic yet somehow contemporary symphony.
Some of the sunny, soaring choirboy vocals and harmonies feel like they have…halos!
What can I say. It’s the first time in months that I’ve been moved to blurt to my husband “I’m going to get their album!” before even listening to sample tracks. He bought me it to celebrate my blog launch.
Maybe I’m way behind everyone else here, but I just wanted to share it with you in case it’s new for you too.
Please give it a try. You can listen to sample tracks from the Fleet Foxes album or download it on MP3 here You can also download ‘Mykonos’ for free here. Just scroll down to the ‘listen to samples’ section.) I’d love to hear what you think.
I’d also love to know what your last spontaneous ‘must have’ music buy was!
*PS I’ve moved the comments from this post to the post called Still Loving Fleet Foxes.