May 6, 2009

Fleet Foxes//Mykonos

Just when you think that the Animal Band Names trend might FINALLY be dying… the next thing you know your best friend is telling you that Crocodiles (who sound, much or not much to their dismay, exactly like JAMC) is the new new. In the spirit of this strange and undeniable happening, we here at OSS are introducing a brand new and extremely useful tag: Animal Band Names Trend.

In one of my King’s film classes, we spent a lot of time talking about how popular cinema was almost universally reflective of the societal fears and anxieties of the time. For example, Cold War-era movies focus a lot on the covert threat of the other (see: Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Rebel Without a Cause). Could this recent slew of Animal Names have something to do with our disconnection from the natural world (ahem, you are reading a MUSIC BLOG right now)? Or does it have more to do with unimaginative twenty-somethings who have grown tired of inventing absurd names for their abundant bands? Methinks the former holds more weight. When has anyone ever had trouble coming up with a weird name for a band? Never.

This reminds me of the time when my college friends and I decided to start a band called “Tracy Chapman” just so we could say, “Hi, we’re Tracy Chapman. We wanted to thank Fleet Foxes for letting us open up for them.” In fact, once you come up with a clever band name, it’s almost certain that your band won’t ever actually exist (Tracy Chapman never even had a rehearsal, let alone a firm lineup). Some other bands my friends and I named and never started: our quintessential emo band, The Sweater Chain; the devo cover band, Emoticon; the as-of-yet-genre-unknown-but-I’m-guessing-either-late-70s-inspired-yacht-rock-or-80s-popish, Sweetie….

Anyway, I’ve digressed. Whatever the cause of this beast moniker indie frenzy, in celebration of our embracing this somewhat annoying/somewhat endearing habit of all the hottest indie bands, whether they be experimentally fresh or delightfully derivative, please welcome Animal-Name-of-the-Day Fleet Foxes.

Fleet Foxes, where do I begin? This band started getting major buzz last year. I found their records to be lovely, pleasant and for the most part kind of homogenous. Not to say I didn’t enjoy listening to them and not to say that some songs didn’t stand out. Their sound is laden with layered vocal harmonies and rich folk sounds, augmented by dramatic builds. What’s not to like? Enjoyable.

For a while I noticed when their songs would pop up in my iTunes or that their album would be on in the background when grabbing a meal with friends at our favorite neighborhood Mexican joint. Then, like so many over-hyped bands, they faded away to make room for the next over-hyped (possible Animal Named) band to take their place. They might have been lost to me almost forever if not for my internet friend (who has strangely disappeared from the internet lately—you ok, Megan?), who posted this amazing video which sparked a resurgence in my consciousness.

Going out of my way to listen to them again, this song is what I get stuck on. The lyrics are mysterious and suggestive of ancient mythological tales (hello, Greece!). Having had the experience recently, I would like to suggest that everyone listen to this song on decent headphones while walking uptown from the World Trade Center through Tribecca (either along Church or West Broadway) and into Chinatown on a grey but temperate day. It’s perfect.

As for Animal Names, expect more in the future. It’s been a few years now; I don’t think this one is going anywhere anytime soon.


Brother, you don't need to turn me away.
I was waiting down at the ancient gate.


Emily Bate said...

THEY FROM PHILI! You didn't even mention that!!

g said...

Not according to wikipedia, baby: