As well as sharing their penchant for overgrown facial hair, SXSW ones-to-watch Fleet Foxes also take cues from My Morning Jacket’s attachment to heavy reverb (and a knack for sounding as though they recorded at the bottom of a well). Influences are far more vintage, however. Think CSNY on the spine-tingling, precise opening track, an unaccompanied four-part harmonized hymn straight out of some pastoral Southern U.S. chapel.
Preferring elongated vocal rounds, the hirsute Seattle quintet categorically shun the conventional chorus-plus-verse structure. But forget any suggestion of sprawling folk that might suggest. There’s nothing rambling about these five atmospheric arrangements. Beefing up melodies with sparse bits of banjo, mandolin and guitar and encroaching on classic rock, bluegrass, folk-pop terrain, each track on the EP is a precise, separate entity. Don’t be fooled by its diminutive length either.