Fleet Foxes - ‘Helplessness Blues’ + Deshler
Ingredients: 3/4 ounce rye whiskey, 3/4 ounce Dubonnet Rouge, 1/2 ounce Triple Sec, 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Mixing Instructions: Fill two-thirds of a cocktail shaker full of ice, add all ingredients and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
Notes: If I were a band manager I would pray that my band’s first LP was decent, but not great. The pressure that ensues when a band jumps out of the gates with an instant classic, as Fleet Foxes did with their EP and self-titled album in 2008, can tear a group apart at the seams. So, when the Seattle-based indie folk band released their follow-up, nearly three years later, their fan base breathed a collective sigh of relief. Helplessness Blues was and is a masterpiece — a testament to the growth of Robin Pecknold as a songwriter and to the band’s ability to test artistic boundaries without losing their collective soul. With a slightly darker, more “realistic” (Pecknold’s description) feel, the album ponders major philosophical questions that are both sincere and universal. An album that thunders down from the Cascades, one should choose a night when concentration and meditation is possible and listen with an open heart and a substantive cocktail.