Seattle's Fleet Foxes are led by vocalist/guitarist Robin Pecknold, who fashioned his band's earthy, harmony-rich sound in honor of perennial classic rockers Bob Dylan, Neil Young, the Zombies, and the Beach Boys. Mixing Baroque pop with elements of classic rock and British folk, the band took shape in 2006 as Pecknold was joined by guitarist Skyler Skjelset, bassist Bryn Lumsden, drummer Nicholas Peterson, and keyboardist Casey Wescott.
After playing only a handful of shows, the band generated a healthy amount of label interest and caught the attention of local producer Phil Ek, who had previously helmed records by Built to Spill and the Shins. Ek worked with the band on its Sun Giant EP, which was issued by Sub Pop Records in spring 2008. Fleet Foxes' self-titled debut full-length followed that summer, earning them a healthy amount of critical respect in America, as well as healthy sales in the U.K., where the band's debut went platinum. That same year, the group was joined by singer/songwriter J. Tillman (Josh Tillman) on drums, and he appeared on the band's much-anticipated sophomore studio outing, 2011's well-received Helplessness Blues, before leaving the den and reinventing himself as Father John Misty. In 2014, Pecknold announced that he was pursuing a degree at Columbia, and Fleet Foxes effectively went on hiatus. ~ Kenyon Hopkin & Andrew Leahey