|Robin Pecknold||–||lead vocals, guita|
|Skyler Skjelset||–||guitar, mandolin|
|Casey Wescott||–||keyboards, mandolin, vocals|
|Christian Wargo||–||bass, guitar, vocals|
|Morgan Henderson||–||upright bass, guitar, woodwinds|
Fleet Foxes is an indie folk band that formed in Seattle, Washington. They are signed to the Sub Pop and Bella Union record labels. The band came to prominence in 2008 with the release of their second EP, Sun Giant, and their debut full length album Fleet Foxes. Both Sun Giant and their eponymous debut album received much critical praise and reviewers often noted their use of refined lyrics and vocal harmonies. Their second studio album, Helplessness Blues was released on May 3, 2011.
Formation and early years
Robin Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset both attended Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle, and soon became close friends. Pecknold and Skjelset bonded over a mutual appreciation of Bob Dylan and Neil Young and began making music together. Their parents influenced their musical tastes early on—Skjelset’s mother Peggi was a keen listener of both Bob Dylan and Hank Williams while Pecknold’s father Greg was a member of The Fathoms, a local 1960s soul group. The two were interested in the achievements of Dylan and Brian Wilson and realized the importance of practicing music from a young age.
Originally going by the name “The Pineapples,” a name clash with another local band prompted a change and Pecknold decided upon “Fleet Foxes,” suggesting that it was “evocative of some weird English activity like fox hunting.” Pecknold took up the role of principal songwriter, both singing and playing guitar, while Skjelset played lead guitar. Pecknold’s late-sixties pop style caught the attention of Seattle producer Phil Ek and he helped them record their first demo in 2006, the self-released Fleet Foxes EP. Ek was impressed with the band’s songwriting, and upon hearing Pecknold for the first time, noted “it was obvious he had talent coming out of his ass.” By late 2006 the Seattle press began to take notice of the band; Tom Scanlon of the Seattle Times stated that he was impressed with the band’s lyrics and musical maturity.
With growing popularity on the local circuit, the band set about making their first album in early 2007, spending time in the studio with producer Ek in addition to recording material at home. However, funds for recording were tight, so the band members cobbled together what funds they had, which limited the time they had in the studio, and so the majority of the tracks were recorded in various band members’ apartments, other spaces, or the basement of Pecknold’s parents’ house.