Sub Pop announced his morning that Seattle's Fleet Foxes, the indie-folk act that was the surprise hit of 2008/2009, will release the follow-up to 2008's self-titled LP with Helplessness Blues on May 3. They'll play the Moore that night (pre-sale tomorrow at 9 a.m.).
The album is the most anticipated release for Seattle's Sub Pop since the Shins released Wincing the Night Away in 2007, for which the label hired a battery of outside promotion and marketing help to give the record a major-label level push, which resulted in a debut at #2 on the Billboard album charts, selling 118,000 records in its first week. Depending on the competition, it's very possible that Helplessness Blues could mark Sub Pop's debut atop the charts--a distinction that has lost some of its heft as album sales have dwindled, but that still remains an important resume item for bands and labels.
Helplessness Blues' title track--available for free download after the jump--reveals a more crystaline Fleet Foxes sound than we've previously heard from the band. The band has retained their signature harmonies, led by frontman Robin Pecknold's reverb-soaked vocals. But they're cleaner and more refined, a sound Pecknold teased to with his cover of "Be Yourself," on the Graham Nash tribute album of the same name.