Robin Pecknold is not Beyoncé. The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from FleetFoxes probably even knows that himself. Nevertheless, Pecknold treats himself to a Beyoncé treatment with the fourth album of his band:


has already been released

less than two days after the announcement

, a surprise record that does will not be released as an actual record until February next year (optimistic planning!), but can now be heard as the soundtrack of a 55-minute accompanying film by the director Kersti Jan Werdal.

If Pecknold could dance and reveal the secrets of his skincare routine, it would be perfect.

Like Beyoncé's

Blackis King

, the




on the coast.

But that's it with the similarities.

In the case of the pop queen, the sun burned over postcard scenes, in the case of Werdal the weather looks like Washington (the US state, not the US hellhole) in November.

Wind, rain, spray, with a little light in between: In less than two minutes, the film sets the frame of reference through which Fleet Foxes' predominantly acoustic folk rock, often sung with several voices, has been moving for 14 years.

Out of sheer familiarity, one almost overhears that it isn't Pecknold who


the first



Wading in Waist-High Water


Instead, the voice is played by Uwade Akhere, a singer and ex-fellow student of Pecknold at Columbia University in New York.

Akhere was previously known to a small circle of followers as a spontaneous interpreter of famous songs on Instagram.

There she also posted a line-up poster of the Global Unity Festival in April, on which her name was hidden in row 19 and microscopic letters.

The fact that she



with a song about the last days of a lost summer fits into the program as does Werdal's rainy coastal pictures.

The album is as much a return as it is a withdrawal project.

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Pecknold didn't have much more after the last Fleet Foxes record.


the summer of 2017,


paired his band's weatherproof folk with a penchant for complication that Pecknold had brought with him either from prog rock of the 1970s, from North African polyrhythmics, or from his late academic career.

The man who had sung so uplifting about simple images of nature at the beginning of his musical career now wrote rambling, impressionistic songs and added notes and stage directions to them in the accompanying textbook.

With the album title he referred to an essay from F. Scott Fitzgerald's personal late autumn.