Third of May / Ōdaigahara
You have to admire Fleet Foxes for coming out after a six year hiatus with an epic, nine-minute, sauntering and trundling new track like Third of May / Ōdaigahara. The song is bigger and more conceptual than their previous work and this helps to give them a slight point of difference in an ever evolving and blurring musical landscape.
Third of May / Ōdaigahara is named after the date they released their last album on 3 May 2011. It is the first single off their new album Crack-Up, due for release on June 16.
The song is trademark Fleet Foxes, complete with sprawling alt-folk music, delicate vocals and intense self-auditing and reflection, though it is more experimental and has a greater sense of self than their past works.
The song is set out like a theatrical play – starting with an accessible introduction to the Fleet Foxes you know and love and then unpredictably transforming into a harrowing, sorrowful, drifting swell of dejection, which then changes into a short act in frantic confusion with the final act seemingly a moment of realisation where they drag themselves out of melancholy and find a peaceful resolve.
Their sound itself has not progressed massively – apart from the inclusion of acoustic psychedelia and an unconventional song progression – and this isn’t a good or bad thing. They seem to be trying to keep to their roots but also evolve with the expanding world of modern music, and the outcome is impressive, beautifully lingering and nostalgic.