Folk bands tend to rise and disappear more quickly than others, but after a hiatus, Fleet Foxes has their first release in six years. Crack Up begins much like previous material, and this is interesting for two reasons. First, Fleet Foxes are being both ambitious with their anthemistic approach to alt-folk, and, secondly, they are also being familiar enough to kind of show up other indie music by making listeners just slightly more restless than when they started listening, but just slightly.
The bluegrass influenced opener, “I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar” may be a little overly direct, but does the job for folk-seekers, and the follow-up, “Naiads Cassadies” is pure gold, and a haunting reminder of what folk can be when done well. “Kept Woman” even goes so far as to build on their more indie sound, and successfully so.
Then, “Third Man / Odaigahara” continues if not as poignantly as it’s predecessor, very close to it. So does “If You Need To Keep Time On Me”, which is a simple chill-out song, for lack of a better term here. “Mearcstapa” and “I Should See Memphis” are also solid and smooth, but on this record, there is some overdone hymning at times, the music is too good to worry about that though.
The whole release winds down very well, with the nightlife and folky sounding, “Crack-Up”, and there is almost a pure alt-rock sound here. Crack Up is a fitting folky album for the time, and it has been awhile since they had one, but it fills the void of great indie folk for now.