A new generation of indie rock artists are shaping the ethereal/pastoral rock terrain. And Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, Perfume Genius, Papercuts, Beach House, and The Shins are among the top of this group. Band of Horses' Infinite Arms, Beach House's Teen Dream, and Perfume Genius' Learning are recent examples of indie artists cleary not afraid to let the music breathe; showing little regard for current trends, they put their innermost spacy and sensitive sides on display. You have to be pretty comfortable in your own skin to do that.
Meanwhile, ever since Fleet Foxes' sublime self-titled debut came out on Sub Pop in 2008, fans have hungered for a follow-up. Now the wait's almost over, as the band's sophomore effort, Helplessness Blues, will see the light of day early this May. Continuing in their rustic tradition, the album will feature violin, harp, and Marxophone. In a similar vein, Jason Robert Quever's Papercuts incorporates a serene and spacey vocal approach amid humble, earnest lo-fi arrangements. And like their previous two releases, Can't Go Back and You Can Have What You Want, early word on their new album, Fading Parade, out this week, has fans thrilling to the atmospheric vibe (we certinaly like it a lot). And, at this point, the veteran group among this crop of ethereal indies, The Shins, have been hinting at a possible 2011 release date for their next album. It seems like ages since their last release, Wincing the Night Away, but last year's Broken Bells side project with lead singer James Mercer and Danger Mouse was a nice distraction.