After six long years of teasing hints, their frontman going back to school, and their former drummer reaching peak prominence on his own, Fleet Foxes have finally put a date on their long-awaited return. Crack-Up is due out June 16 via new label Nonesuch, with a first taste being provided through the nine minute epic, "Third of May / Ōdaigahara."
Combining Fleet Foxes' signature soaring vocals with an extended harp outro, "Third of May / Ōdaigahara" finds Robin Pecknold confidently indulging in a sprawling exploration of both his most aggressive folk and minimalist tendencies.
Pecknold wrote all 11 tracks, sharing production duties with bandmate Skyler Skjelset. Skjelset and the band's previous record, 2011's Helplessness Blues, were both born on May 3, lending inspiration to the title of the single, while the album title draws from F. Scott Fitzgerald's essay of the same name. The accompanying visual, which features water color paintings being blown across the page, was created by Pecknold's brother Sean and Adi Goodrich.
In an interview with Pitchfork Pecknold explains, "I feel like Crack-Up begins in pure conflicted solitude and ends in a bright clearing, one of closeness, like the top right hand corner of the photograph on the album cover." Though arriving at the release of their third record has been anything but, well, fleet, it seems the result will be well worth the wait.
Listen, and find album art, tracklisting, and tour dates below.