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Fleet Foxes
Fleetfoxes08.jpg
Fleet Foxes performing in Copenhagen, 2008.
Background information
Origin Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Genres Indie folk, baroque pop, folk rock, psychedelic folk, progressive rock
Years active 2006–2012 (hiatus)
Labels Sub Pop (U.S.)
Bella Union (UK)
Arts & Crafts México
Associated acts Crystal Skulls, Pedro the Lion, White Antelope, Poor Moon, Father John Misty, The Blood Brothers, Past Lives, Japanese Guy, Peter Matthew Bauer & the Devourers
Members Robin Pecknold
Skyler Skjelset
Casey Wescott
Christian Wargo
Morgan Henderson
Past members Nicholas Peterson
Craig Curran
Joshua Tillman

Fleet Foxes is an American indie folk band that was started in Seattle, Washington. It is signed to the Sub Pop and Bella Union record labels. The band became well-known in 2008 for their second EP, Sun Giant, and their first album Fleet Foxes. Fleet Foxes' second studio album, Helplessness Blues, was released on 3 May 2011.

History

Formation and early years

Robin Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset both went to Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, Washington, and became friends. They listened to Bob Dylan and Neil Young and began making music together.

First they took the name "The Pineapples", but another band in the area had the same name. Pecknold then decided upon "Fleet Foxes". Pecknold became the principal songwriter, both singing and playing guitar, while Skjelset played lead guitar. The producer Phil Ek and he helped them record their first demo in 2006, the Fleet Foxes EP. By late 2006, Seattle journalists began to notice the band.

They became popular by doing local concerts. They started making their first album in early 2007. They recorded in the studio with producer Ek. They recorded most of their tracks at home because they did not have a lot of money.

Rise to prominence

Fleet Foxes became popular through word of mouth exposure. By late 2007, their songs had been played over 250,000 times on their Myspace site. They got a record deal with Sub Pop (a subsidiary record label of Warner Music) on 18 January 2008. Robin's sister, Aja Pecknold, became band manager. The band's frontman, Robin Pecknold, says that they got most of their success and popularity from people sharing their music illegally online.

The band recorded their second EP, Sun Giant, at Bear Creek Studio and performed overdubs and mixed at Seattle's Avast! Recording Co. Fleet Foxes began a tour with the band Blitzen Trapper on 28 February 2008. The band's performances, first at the SXSW festival in March 2008, and then the Sasquatch! festival in May 2008, got them the most attention from the public.

Sun Giant was released internationally on 8 April 2008. It was well received by the press. After this, Christian Wargo joined the band on guitar and J. Tillman joined the band on drums. Their first full length album, Fleet Foxes, was released on 3 June 2008. The album achieved similar critical success as the previous EP. On 24 June 2008, Fleet Foxes went to No. 1 on the College Music Journal Radio 200 Chart.

In Europe, Fleet Foxes sold over 200,000 copies in the five months following its release. The album received good reviews from critics. In Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, tickets for their concerts sold out. By the end of 2008, it had sold over 408,000 copies in North America and over 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom.

They went on a worldwide tour in 2008 and 2009.

Second album

The band started practicing their new songs in February 2009. Recording did not start until April 2010. Many of the vocal tracks were recorded in one take.

The album, Helplessness Blues, was released on 3 May 2011. The cover was illustrated by the Seattle artist Toby Liebowitz and painted by Christopher Alderson. The album features new band member Morgan Henderson on upright bass and woodwind instruments.

On 18 January 2012, drummer J. Tillman announced that he had left the band.

Helplessness Blues was nominated for Best Folk Album at the 2012 Grammy Awards, on 12 February 2012.

The band went on hiatus from 2013 to 2016.

Third album

On May 18, 2016, Robin Pecknold said on his Instagram account that Fleet Foxes were working on new music.

Their third album, called Crack-Up, was released on June 16, 2017. It was released on Nonesuch Records, a new label for the band.

They started playing concerts again on May 15, 2017.

Members

FleetFoxesinLondon
Fleet Foxes performing at Hard Rock Calling 2009.
  • Robin Pecknold - lead vocals, guitar (2006–present)
  • Skyler Skjelset - guitar, mandolin, vocals (2006–present)
  • Casey Wescott - keyboards, mandolin, vocals (2006–present)
  • Christian Wargo - bass guitar, guitar, vocals (2008–present)
  • Morgan Henderson - upright bass, guitar, woodwinds, violin, percussion, saxophone (2010–present)

Former members

  • Craig Curran - bass guitar (2006-2008)
  • Nicholas Peterson - drums, percussion, vocals (2006–2008)
  • Joshua Tillman - drums, percussion, vocals (2008–2012)

Discography

Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions, sales, and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
US
AUS
BEL
(FL)

CAN
FRA
GER
NLD
NOR
SWE
UK
Fleet Foxes 36 90 12 78 51 39 14 16 3
  • US: 500,000
  • UK: 400,000
Helplessness Blues
  • Released: May 3, 2011
  • Labels: Bella Union, Sub Pop
  • Format: CD, CS, LP, digital download
4 6 2 8 54 11 5 1 3 2
  • US: 348,000
  • UK: 134,000
  • BPI: Gold
Crack-Up
  • Released: June 16, 2017
  • Labels: Nonesuch
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download
9 10 9 16 144
25 11 21
18
9
  • US: 32,000
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Extended plays

List of extended plays, with selected chart positions, sales, and certifications
Title EP details Chart peak positions
US
The Fleet Foxes
  • Released: September 5, 2006
  • Format: CD-R
Sun Giant
  • Released: April 8, 2008
  • Labels: Bella Union, Sub Pop
  • Formats: CD, CS, LP, digital download
174
The Shrine / An Argument – Live at the BBC
  • Released: December 13, 2011
  • Label: Bella Union
  • Format: 12-inch vinyl
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Singles

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
AAA
US
Rock
BEL
JPN
SCO
UK
UK Indie
"White Winter Hymnal" 2008 62 35 77 4 Fleet Foxes
"He Doesn't Know Why" 74
"Mykonos" 2009 30 18 12 51 28 Sun Giant (EP)
"Your Protector" 31 45 Fleet Foxes
"Helplessness Blues"/"Grown Ocean" 2011 63 76 Helplessness Blues
"Battery Kinzie" 75
"Lorelai" 68
"Third of May / Ōdaigahara" 2017 26 45 Crack-Up
"Fool's Errand" 96
"If You Need To, Keep Time on Me"

Music videos

Year Song
2008 "White Winter Hymnal"
"He Doesn't Know Why"
2009 "Mykonos"
2011 "Grown Ocean"
"The Shrine / An Argument"
2017 "Fool's Errand"

Images for kids

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