Hidden Gems is our new column where we share the gems we find while digging deep into the vast, intricate universe of music.
The Fleet Foxes album, Helplessness Blues, is a masterpiece, and if you’ve never listened to it the album in full, you really should. However, as with any good album, some of the most beautiful songs can often get overlooked. “Blue Spotted Tail” is one of those.
“Blue Spotted Tail” is a simple song with simple lyrics and just a tenderly finger-picked acoustic guitar accompanying Robin Pecknold’s voice. The entire song consists of just some questions with no answers: “Why in the night sky are lights hung / Why is the earth moving round the sun?” It’s sang like a lullaby. Some of these questions, such as the one in the chorus, “Why is life made only for to end,” could send people into a deep existential torment. It’s a song Pecknold wrote to explain his agnosticism, inspired by what Carl Sagan wrote in his book, “Pale Blue Dot.” But there’s something so calming and soothing about the Fleet Foxes song. Twice through the song he stops singing and just hums, internalizing the tune. He knows he’ll keep these questions until the day that he dies, and that’s no longer a problem for him.
Listen to the song below: