Ah, the beauty and perfection of Shore. Already a Fleet Foxes’ fan since day one (2008, the release of their eponymous first album), Shore has cemented my love for this band. Last September, I happened to search Apple Music on the off chance that Fleet Foxes had something new for me to hear. Like a miracle from on high, they did: the lovely Shore had been released that very week. Although work on the album started pre-2020, Robin Pecknold, the band’s incredibly talented frontman, brought the album over the finish line during the ups and downs of the year that was 2020. I am forever grateful to him for giving fans such a gloriously beautiful album to brighten the dark days of our pandemic year.
From the dreamy opening track to the final title track, I can’t pick a favorite song. I’m sure Apple is storing the statistics on how often I’ve listened to the album but I can’t figure out how to get the data myself; suffice to say I’ve listened to it from start to finish many, many times. It soothed me during my drives to nowhere when I needed to break the quarantine blues, made my heartrate approach normal after a long day of working from home, and continues to cheer me post-vaccine.
I have every Fleet Foxes album and EP, so when I felt I was getting too obsessive about Shore, I just dipped into my archive. I also started following Robin Pecknold on Instagram, where he shares bits of new songs as he writes them. And though I don’t own a record player, I bought the Shore LP for my sister, who does, so that I can wonder at the artistry of the clear vinyl and album design the next time I visit her.
Sometimes in life you find an artist, musician, or writer whose work speaks to an essential part of you. For me, Fleet Foxes has a permanent place in that category.