Fleet Foxes: ‘Third of May/Ōdaigahara’

Fleet Foxes have sure taken their sweet time. It’s been six years since they released their last album, ‘Helplessness Blues’, and a lot has happened in the world since then.

In that time, lead vocalist Robin Pecknold went back to University, starred in an off-broadway play, and started a number of side projects. Guitarist Christian Wargo revived his other band Crystal Skulls. And the band’s drummer Joshua Tillman left Fleet Foxes to become the hugely successful solo artist Father John Misty.

Their first track back (sans Tillman) is titled ‘Third of May/Ōdaigahara’, and it’s a stunning look at friendship.

Pecknold has explained, “My friend and bandmate Skyler Skjelset’s birthday is May 3, and our album ‘Helplessness Blues’ was released on May 3, 2011. The song ‘Third of May / Ōdaigahara’ is about my relationship with Skye. It addresses our distance in the years after touring that album, the feeling of having an unresolved, unrequited relationship that is lingering psychologically. Even if some time apart was necessary and progressive for both of us as individuals, I missed our connection, especially the one we had when we were teenagers, and the lyrics for the song grew out of that feeling.”

The result is an experimental alt-folk song; which starts off true to their usual style, and then evolves into an underwater-sounding jam that lasts almost 9 minutes. You have to hear it to believe it.

Fleet Foxes have also announced that their third album will be called ‘Crack-up’, and released on June 16.

Listen to ‘Third of May/Ōdaigahara’ here: