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Fleet Foxes follow-up album in May

RETURN OF THE BEARDS: The next indie-rock chart breakthrough may well be generated by Seattle close-harmony specialists Fleet Foxes, whose sophomore album. Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop/Bella Union) will hit on May 3. The band co-produced the LP with Phil Ek (Shins, Band of Horses, Built to Spill), who did the mix. The announcement was accompanied by a free MP3 of the title track, which we found on NoDepression.com. It’s five minutes of urgent acoustic strumming and open-throated, reverb-enhanced harmony singing that blossoms into a pastoral, panoramic payoff. Boomers who cut their teeth on Crosby, Stills & Nash will surely find Fleet Foxes irresistible should they be exposed to this righteously old-school band. Just sayin’… (2/1a)

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