On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Fleet Foxes – Mykonos (2008)
Mykonos is the third single from indie folk band Fleet Foxes, from their 2008 EP . It was released in the UK on January 27, 2009, by European label Bella Union; in the format of 7″ vinyl as well as a digital download, and peaked at number 51 on the UK Singles Chart.
We’re leaving the UK and making our way back to the US and to Seattle in Washington. Formed in 2006, Fleet Foxes specialised in variants of folk music and soon rose to prominence. We join them early on in 2008 and the release of their second EP, Sun Giant, which preceded their self-titled debut album. From the EP, 1001 Songs have lifted the track, Mykonos.
Mykonos takes its name from one of the Greek islands in the Mediterranean but the song itself is said to be about drummer, Josh Tillman, who would leave the band in 2012 and struggled with drug addiction. The song itself sees the narrator addressing a friend who has headed down a dark path, yet they are desperate to drag them back to normality. The refrain in the chorus speaks of this friend travelling to Mykonos, to escape from their past and perhaps to begin the desperately needed process of healing.
I have heard the odd song by Fleet Foxes in the past and always enjoyed their music, yet have not explored their back catalogue further. I put this down to lazy ignorance. Mykonos is a heartfelt depiction of a close friend having gone off the rails and trying to drag them from the void. The harmony here is gorgeous and the vocals sumptuous too. Tillman’s departure from the group led to a hiatus but they reformed in 2016 and continue to this day.
Favourite songs so far: