Helplessness Blues (lost unreleased songs from Fleet Foxes album; 2008-2011)

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Album art.

Status: Lost

Helplessness Blues is Fleet Foxes' second album, released in 2011. The album featured a stylistic evolution for the band and garnered them critical acclaim, being looked at as a modern classic.


The album had a lengthy and troubled production, costing three years and leading to much frustration between those involved. Recording in 2009 with intentions for release that year.[1] singer/songwriter Robin Pecknold told Pitchfork. "The last year has been a really trying creative process where I've not been knowing what to write or how to write."[2] The band spent 60,000 dollars of studio money to record tracks for the album. However, Robin Pecknold, the band's lead vocalist and songwriter, found the results unsatisfactory, apparently being too close in style to the band's self-titled album. The tracks were thrown out, and the band had to pay Sub Pop records for the time and resources wasted.

The band got back together after a few extra delays. Having picked up a new multi-instrumentalist, the album took a much different musical direction, stripping back many of the signature vocal harmonies that made the band famous. The result was much more lyrically and instrumentally driven than its predecessor.


Details on the sound of the original album are sparse and vague. It is not known if the finished album was a reworking of the thrown away tracks, or if the original tracks were completely different. None of the original tracks have yet been released officially or unofficially. However, there are rumours that an extremely rare promotional CD passed around Sub-Pop in mid-2011 contains a demo version of "Helplessness Blues." A person who claimed to hold a copy of the disc uploaded a song onto YouTube, supposedly being the demo. Unfortunately, it turned out to be done by a different Sub-Pop artist, though it was a different, unheard version of song by the artist.