Not counting 2021’s live album, A Very Lonely Solstice, it’s been a few years since we’ve had any new material from indie-folk royalty Fleet Foxes — the last being 2020’s Shore (not including their feature on Post Malone’s “Love/Hate Letter to Alcohol”). But now the band is back with a new song called “A Sky Like I’ve Never Seen”, which was inspired by and written for the upcoming Amazon Prime nature documentary Wildcat.
Directed by Melissa Lesh and Trevor Beck Frost, the film follows a young veteran as he take a trip to the Amazon. He eventually meets a women who runs a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center — here, he is given care of an orphaned ocelot and discovers a new purpose filled with love and healing. The film will be released theatrically on Dec. 21 and will hit Prime Video on Dec. 30.
“A Sky Like I’ve Never Seen” doesn’t veer too far from the band’s usual folk-centric compositions, but it is a lovely respite from the current atmosphere of harshness permeating all our current social strata. The guitars shimmer in all their plucked iridescent hues while Pecknold’s voice acts as a guardian against the troubles lurking outside the borders of the music. They’ve once again teamed up with Brazilian musician Tim Bernardes, who last appeared on Shore‘s “Going-to-the-Sun Road”, and he provides backing vocals and some light guitar flourishes that cascade like radiant ripples through the track. It possesses an inherent warmth, like a sunrise on a cool autumn morning, and it feels quite comforting to be wrapped in its tangles.
“I was inspired by how the film employed unconventional means to arrive at something universally moving,” Pecknold explains, “and was struck by all the collisions inherent in the film’s conceit — between species, between hemispheres, between individuals, between the psychological and the natural. In hotel rooms and in borrowed studios, on time stolen from a world tour, I put this song together. It was an honor to be asked to make a song that could serve as an end-cap to this unique and affecting story and to collaborate with Tim again.”
Listen to the song below or on the streaming service of your choice.
Watch the trailer for Wildcat below.
The band will also release Wading in Waist-High Water: The Lyrics of Fleet Foxes via Tin House on November 15. Containing lyrics to 55 songs and detailed notes from Pecknold highlighting his creative processes, influences, and motivations, the book reveals the origins of the band’s signature sound and how each song is constructed and recorded through the shared joy of musical creation. Novelist Brandon Taylor (Real Life, Filthy Animals) penned the introduction while Pecknold handled the afterward.
You can pre-order it here.