Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes
Wow, one day of actual work and I feel all behind. But fear not, working 9-6 each day is not going to stop me posting regularly (as you may have noticed I had been trying to post every other day, but sometimes this hasn’t worked, and I expect from now on it’ll be more like every 2-3 days), ‘Huraah!’ I can hear you all say… obviously.
Anyway, rather nicely the word I’m going to talk about is ‘Help’, which is what I feel like saying a lot these days… OK, all the time. And signals of distress and pleas for aid are fairly common in songs; as always I’ll turn to a stalwart in the music world for an example – SOS by ABBA. Preach.
Anywho, here are my ‘Help’ songs:
Help Me Rhonda - The Beach Boys
Help! - The Beatles (the epitome of ‘Help’ songs, clearly)
Helplessness Blues - Fleet Foxes
- This deserves more than just a bracket: This is the title song of their second album. I had been anticipating the release of Fleet Foxes’ second album for literally years because I had become so obsessed with the songs they had already done, so when this was finally released ahead of the album, there was a lot of expectation for me. Luckily, it did not disappoint, much like the whole album (with the exception of The Shrine/The Argument just because of the weird ‘freak-out’ section in the middle that I don’t get, and I’m not sure I love it as much as their first album, but still). Anyway, from almost the first listen of this song I was satisfied and basically ‘fell in love’ with them all over again.
However much I hate the phrase, the lyrics really ‘spoke to me’. It starts with: “I was raised up believing/I was somehow unique/ like a snowflake, distinct among snowflakes /unique in each way you can see. And now after some thinking/I’d say I’d rather be/ a functioning cog in some great machinery/serving something beyond me” and later on: “If I know only one thing/ is that everything I see/ of the world outside is so inconceivable/ that often, I barely can speak” The latter lyrics mean more to me – it’s something I think about a lot, and the former words aren’t my exact feelings, but the idea of uniqueness vs ubiquity and insignificance, and whether I want to stand out or be part of the crowd is also something I get all contemplative about sometimes.
And the music, and the lyrics, and the whole composition of the song fitted into the wonderful world of Fleet Foxes’ sound that kind of transports me elsewhere. I am sounding very cheesy and clichéd, and also verging on writing a whole essay, so I will end this with Allan Jones’ words from his interview with Robin Pecknold and Fleet Foxes in Uncut magazine: “His songs seemed often to describe a prelapsarian world, as if they spoke to us from a time of greater innocence, somewhere edenic and in all senses wonderful”. True dat. (Yes, I had saved that quote from the magazine because it put into words so perfectly the magic of Fleet Foxes music that I could not describe myself. I knew it would come in handy one day).
So that’s my post on ‘Help’, though really it was on my undying, crazy-obsessed love for Fleet Foxes. I really like them by the way, did you realise??? I could probably write one post on every single one of their songs I have, but that would be boring and I don’t wish to bore you any more than I have, which will probably be a lot. But, before them, I didn’t have a favourite band, and they have basically shaped my taste in music and prompted me to be more interested in music as a whole. So, to them I am indebted.
Crazy Fanatic x
P.S. As I’ve already gone past ‘G’, I won’t have the opportunity to talk about Grown Ocean, possibly my favourite track on the Helplessness Blues album. So here’s its awesomeness in its glorious video form (by Sean Pecknold) below: