Lotsa folks worshiped the first Fleet Foxes album for the utterly lovely choral vocal arrangements, but it left me kinda cold, as bands that perfect their vocal harmonies often forget to add the necessary drive to their songs.
So I was actually kinda surprised that I liked the follow-up, 2011’s Helplessness Blues, as much as I did. But I suspect it’s mostly because if the shameless Dylan rip, “Lorelai.”
Of course, the song that “Lorelai” shamelessly steals from, “4th Time Around” is itself accused of being an homage — both musically and lyrically — to “Norwegian Wood.”
That said, I hear way more “4th Time Around” in “Lorelai” than I do “Norwegian Wood” in “4th Time Around,” and note that — as always — I’m all for wholesale theft as well-executed as any of these songs.
And given that “Lorelai” kicks in with an exquisite rimshot-led 3/4 time signature and lovely “ahhhhhhhhs” before singer Robyn Peckhold even opens his mouth, you might not even notice how sad the first verse is:
Guess I got old
I was like trash on the sidewalk
Guess I knew why
Often it’s hard to just sweet talk
Of course, I’m a sucker for waltz time, and a sucker for sad lyrics, as well. Oh, and lovely vocal harmonies, too. Of course.
So the deeper “Lorelai” gets into its story and starts adding instruments (some backwards), and harmonies, the further it gets away from its influences and comes out the other side being very much its own thing.
“Lorelai” performed live in 2011