"Helplessness Blues"

The first fruit (and title track) from Helplessness Blues, the Seattle folk-rockers' upcoming second album, this begins with frontman Robin Pecknold sounding like a troubled Joni Mitchell and ends with him sounding like a utopian Graham Nash. Pecknold wrestles with life's meaning over vigorous acoustic strumming before excusing himself: "I'll get back to you someday soon," he keens, "you will see." Near the three-minute mark, those trademark harmonies explode amid electric guitar scribbles and daydreams: of working an orchard, acting in films. An amputated couplet appropriately ends it: dreams are like that.

Listen to "Helplessness Blues":

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