Fleet Foxes’ sophomore album Helplessness Blues turned four years old in May, and we haven’t heard much from them since then, with frontman Robin Pecknold busy pursuing his undergraduate degree at Columbia University. Last night, however, Pecknold shared a solo cover of the Five Keys’ 1956 R&B single “Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind,” featuring past collaborator Neal Morgan on percussion. The song was posted to Fleet Foxes’ official Facebook page along with the note “Happy holidays – here’s a cover,” and the track’s SoundCloud cover art is a photo of Japanese writer Yukio Mishima, because it “Jus seemed to rhyme,” as Pecknold explains in the comments on Facebook. (He then gets into a brief but pretty endearing discussion of Japanese literature.) Over the course of its two-and-a-half minutes, the cover shifts from dreamy loveliness to dissonant noise and back again, and you can hear it and compare it to the original below.
Fleet Foxes also just changed their Facebook cover photo to Philip Guston’s 1970 painting “Bad Habits,” which…could mean something? Or nothing? Maybe the Fleet Foxes machine is rumbling back to life? That would be cool! Let’s go with that.