Helplessness Blues by by Fleet Foxes

Helplessness Blues, Fleet Foxes’ sophomore album, swells with folk harmonies and wistful lyrics. The band can be described as a mix between Iron and Wine and Crosby, Stills and Nash—quiet and melodic, then suddenly bursting into raw, blue-grassy vocals that hang in your ears and heart long after the first listen. The album catches a certain ache, a spiritual longing. “If I know only one thing,” the band sings on the title track, “it's that everything that I see / Of the world outside is so inconceivable often I barely can speak.”(Sub Pop)

About the Author

Allison Backous teaches at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Mich., and is a member of Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church.