Fleet Foxes Announce New Album Crack-Up; Stream “Third Of May / Ōdaigahara”

We’ve been waiting six years for a new Fleet Foxes album, and now we only have to wait a few more months. The beloved Pacific Northwestern folkers have officially announced that their long-awaited third album, which is called Crack-Up and not Ylajali after all, is finally arriving in June. Mixed by Phil Ek and co-produced by the band’s own Robin Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset, the album is named after an F. Scott Fitzgerald essay and boasts a photograph by Hiroshi Hamaya as its cover art, which is all very Fleet Foxes. Also very Fleet Foxes? A nine-minute, harmony-laden new song entitled “Third Of May / Ōdaigahara,” which you can find below along with the album’s tracklist and upcoming tour dates. (In case you were wondering, Ōdaigahara is a mountain in Japan.)

UPDATE: In an email to Pitchfork, Pecknold shared some background on the album.

Regarding the Fitzgerald essay that inspired the album title:

The essay addresses the necessity of holding two opposing thoughts in one’s mind at once, in the “I can’t go on/I must go on” sense. I’ve struggled at times with finding a solid, objective reason to live, or I should say I’ve struggled with the notion of needing an airtight reason—almost anything you cling to can be explained away with logic in one way or another if you’re crafty enough. So that has meant coming around to making my own meaning, and finding meaning in connection to other people.

Regarding the label switch from Sub Pop to Nonesuch:

Hugely grateful to Sub Pop and honored to have been on that label, but in the years between Helplessness Blues and beginning work on Crack-Up, most all of the people we worked directly with there had moved on to other labels or had started their own companies in the music business. Which makes sense — it’s been a really long time!

When we were thinking about how we would release the album, we knew we wanted to try something new, either by self-releasing or by finding a new label, and of the constellation of labels out there, Nonesuch just had the most copacetic energy and history, and it felt like the album would fit there. Their ethos seems expansive and inclusive — they appreciate all kinds of music and aren’t built on a rejectionist ethos but instead a kind of utopian one, one that can logically accommodate both John Zorn and the Black Keys. That is really appealing to me as a music fan and as an artist.

Regarding his progress on a solo album and the next Fleet Foxes album:

I’m still writing songs for [the solo album] and the next Fleet Foxes album. The solo album songs have a different character, different stakes, and the next Fleet Foxes album will be fully ecstatic. 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. I’d like the next band album to be a celebration of or elaboration on how Crack-Up ends.

Crack-Up tracklist:

01 “I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar”
02 “Cassius, -“
03 “- Naiads, Cassadies”
04 “Kept Woman”
05 “Third Of May / Ōdaigahara”
06 “If You Need To, Keep Time On Me”
07 “Mearcstapa”
08 “On Another Ocean (January / June)”
09 “Fool’s Errand”
10 “I Should See Memphis”
11 “Crack-Up”

Tour dates:

05/26 Sydney, Australia @ Sydney Opera House
05/27 Sydney, Australia @ Sydney Opera House
05/28 Sydney, Australia @ Sydney Opera House
05/29 Sydney, Australia @ Sydney Opera House
07/01 Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain @ Vida Festival
07/03 Ferrara, Italy @ Bands Apart
07/07 Bilbao, Spain @ Bilbao BBK Live
07/13 Dublin, Ireland @ The Iveagh Gardens
07/14 Dublin, Ireland @ The Iveagh Gardens (SOLD OUT)
07/16 Southwold, UK @ Latitude Festival
07/27 Portland, ME @ Thompson’s Point
07/28 Newport, RI @ Newport Folk Festival (SOLD OUT)
07/29 Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion w/ Animal Collective
07/31 Philadelphia, PA @ Mann Center for the Performing Arts w/ Animal Collective
08/01 Brooklyn, NY @ BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at the Prospect Park Bandshell
08/04 Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
08/06 Detroit, MI @ The Masonic
09/23 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl w/ Beach House
09/27 Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheater w/ Beach House

Crack-Up is out 6/16 via Nonesuch. Pre-order it here.

Fleet Foxes
CREDIT: Shawn Brackbill