Robin Pecknold

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Robin Pecknold
Pecknold performing with Fleet Foxes at Atlantico Live in Rome, Italy in 2011
Pecknold performing with Fleet Foxes at Atlantico Live in Rome, Italy in 2011
Background information
Birth nameRobin Noel Pecknold
Also known as
  • Robin Noel Vaas
  • White Antelope
Born (1986-03-30) March 30, 1986 (age 35)
Kirkland, Washington, U.S.
GenresIndie folk
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years activeEarly 2000s–present
Associated acts

Robin Noel Pecknold (born March 30, 1986) is an American singer-songwriter. He is best known as the principal songwriter and vocalist for the indie folk band Fleet Foxes,[1] with whom he has recorded four studio albums, with the latest, Shore, released on September 22, 2020. His voice type is tenor.


Robin Pecknold was born in Seattle in 1986. He is said to have written his first song at the age of 14, a song called "Sarah Jane" that tells the story of a runaway who turns to prostitution.[2][3] Pecknold released the song along with six others as a demo CD called St. Vincent Street around his hometown as Robin Noel Vaas. Later, the music of Bob Dylan would become Pecknold's primary influence.

In 2005, Pecknold toured as a bassist with Seattle's Dolour. Pecknold formed Fleet Foxes in 2006 with Skyler Skjelset. He knew Skjelset from school, where they already played original music together.[4] He reportedly ran up considerable debt setting up the band.[1]

Besides his work with Fleet Foxes, Pecknold has used the moniker White Antelope for solo output, releasing covers of traditional songs, including "Silver Dagger", "Wild Mountain Thyme" and "False Knight on the Road".[5][6][7][8][9] He also started a band with sister Aja, called Rainbow Fang, and has worked with Past Lives' Morgan Henderson on "film score-type music".[10]

In early 2011, footage emerged of Pecknold as a teenager covering Radiohead's "Let Down" and Simon & Garfunkel's "America", along with another musician named Aaron Mannino.[11][12][13]

On March 7, 2011, Pecknold released three solo songs on Twitter together as Three Songs, including two original compositions, one a duet with Ed Droste, and a cover of NZ folk-singer Chris Thompson's "Where Is My Wild Rose?".[14]

In February 2012, Pecknold, along with Morgan Henderson and Neal Morgan, recorded music for Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore's film about Ina May Gaskin, Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives.[15][16][17]

On October 22, 2013, Pecknold appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform a cover of Pearl Jam's "Corduroy" with Daniel Rossen and Neal Morgan.[18][19][20][21]

In January 2014, Robin Pecknold toured as part of the supergroup The Gene Clark No Other Band, performing Gene Clark's album No Other with singers Iain Matthews, Victoria Legrand, Daniel Rossen and Hamilton Leithauser.[22][23]

In January 2015, Pecknold's latest project was an off-Broadway play, entitled "Wyoming", for which he wrote the score.[24]

In October 2019, Pecknold previewed demos of his upcoming LP "Shore" via Instagram Live. Song titles previewed include "Shore" and "Can I Believe You?"


Pecknold plays a Martin D-18 six-string guitar for most Fleet Foxes work. He also uses a Martin D12-35 12 string and a Gibson CF-100 6 String. Both of these guitars date back to the 1960s.[25] He has also been known to use a recent Epiphone Casino electric guitar, and a Fylde Oberon acoustic guitar.

Personal life[edit]

Robin Pecknold's maternal great-grandfather, Theodor Valaas, immigrated to Seattle from Norway in 1905. Pecknold comes from a musical background. His father, Greg Pecknold,[26] played in the Seattle-based soul band The Fathoms in the 1960s. He has an older brother, Sean, and an older sister, Aja. His brother is a director and animator. Sean has directed six music videos for Fleet Foxes. Aja was a rock critic for magazine Seattle Weekly and is the band's manager.

He has said he experiences social anxiety and in 2008 said: "I don't really hang out with anyone. I'll hang out with my band, because I love them, but I don't have any friends aside from that."[27]

In 2009, he stated that he discovered virtually all of the music he listened to by using online file-sharing program Napster. He also spoke of his support for online file-sharing and the positive effect he believes it to have on music, both as an art form and as an industry.[28][29]

In November 2013 Fleet Foxes member Morgan Henderson mentioned that Pecknold had relocated to New York City where he was enrolled as a student at the Columbia University School of General Studies.[30][31] Pecknold himself later spoke about his time in university in several interviews before the release of Crack-Up,[32][33][34][35][36][37][38] as well as a Reddit AMA.[39][40] In a segment for BBC Radio 6 Music, he spoke on the subject of "What Learning Teaches You About Yourself", again giving details of his time in university.[41]

On April 16, 2017, Pecknold appeared on Phil Taggart's BBC Radio 1 show to share his "Bedtime Mix", selecting songs by Curtis Mayfield, David Behrman, Marvin Gaye, Blaze Foley, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou and Maurice Ravel.[42][43]

Following the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain by suicide in June 2018, Pecknold expressed his sorrow and shared some details of his own struggles with the prospect of suicide, encouraging people to help those who are suffering.[44][45]


Pecknold in Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2009

With Fleet Foxes[edit]

As White Antelope[edit]

  • False Knight on the Road (2009)[46]

As Robin Pecknold[edit]


  1. ^ a b "On the hunt for meaning with Seattle band Fleet Foxes". The Independent. June 13, 2008. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  2. ^ "Robin Pecknold". AskMen. November 1, 1986. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  3. ^ "Track 2 from Robin Pecknold's self-released Album". September 4, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  4. ^ Phelps, Matt (December 29, 2011). "Kirkland band Fleet Foxes nominated for Grammy". Kirkland Reporter. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  5. ^ "White Antelope Myspace". Myspace. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  6. ^ Deusner, Stephen M. (February 3, 2009). ""False Knight on the Road"". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  7. ^ ""Silver Dagger" / "Wild Mountain Thyme"". Pitchfork. May 11, 2009. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  8. ^ Singh, Amrit (February 3, 2009). "New Fleet Foxes – "False Knight On The Road"". Stereogum. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  9. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (May 11, 2009). "White Antelope Records More Folk Covers". Stereogum. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  10. ^ Fleet Foxes' recording "pretty boring" second albumThe Guardian
  11. ^ Bevan, David (April 20, 2011). "Watch Teenage Robin Pecknold Cover Radiohead". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  12. ^ "Robin Pecknold & Aaron Mannino play Radiohead". Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  13. ^ "Robin Pecknold & Aaron Mannino sing Simon & Garfunkel". Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  14. ^ Breihan, Tom (March 7, 2011). "Hear Three New Songs From Fleet Foxes Frontman". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  15. ^ a b DeFore, John (January 15, 2013). "Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin & the Farm Midwives: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  16. ^ a b Chang, Justin (August 6, 2012). "Review: 'Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin & the Farm Midwives'". Variety. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Feb 9, 2012". Flora Recording. February 9, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  18. ^ Minsker, Evan (October 12, 2013). "Robin Pecknold Will Cover Pearl Jam on "Fallon"". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  19. ^ Minsker, Evan (October 23, 2013). "Watch: Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold and Grizzly Bear's Daniel Rossen Cover Pearl Jam's "Corduroy" on "Fallon"". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  20. ^ Danton, Eric R (October 23, 2013). "Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold Covers 'Corduroy' on 'Fallon'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  21. ^ "Video: Robin Pecknold covers Pearl Jam's "Corduroy" on Fallon". Consequence of Sound. October 23, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  22. ^ Minsker, Evan (December 3, 2013). "Beach House, Fleet Foxes, Walkmen, Grizzly Bear Members to Perform Gene Clark's No Other on Tour". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  23. ^ "The Gene Clark No Other Band at Music Hall of Williamsburg". Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Fleet Foxes' '67-ish Martin 12-string! | Leading Tone". September 2, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ Fleet Foxes' Perfect HarmonyRolling Stone magazine
  28. ^ Bands 'better because of piracy'BBC News Online, June 12, 2009
  29. ^ Band puts success down to piracy – Pocket-lint
  30. ^ Morgan Henderson Is Your Favorite Band's Secret Weapon – CityArts Magazine
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Zane Lowe and Fleet Foxes". Apple Music. March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  33. ^ Lowe, Zane (March 7, 2017). "Zane Lowe Twitter". Apple Music. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  34. ^ "Exclusive – Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold on their first new material in 6 years". BBC Radio 6 Music. March 8, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  35. ^ Strauss, Matthew (March 7, 2017). "Robin Pecknold Talks New Fleet Foxes Album and Going Back to School". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  36. ^ "Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold has been expanding his horizons". BBC Radio 6 Music, Radcliffe and Maconie. May 16, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  37. ^ "Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold". BBC Radio 6 Music, Radcliffe and Maconie. May 15, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  38. ^ "Fleet Foxes, Marianne Elliott, Fahrelnissa Zeid". BBC Radio 4, Front Row. June 16, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  39. ^ "I am Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes. Ask me anything". Reddit. May 20, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  40. ^ Pearce, Sheldon (May 21, 2017). "Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold Talks Relationship With Father John Misty, New Music, Going Back to School in his Reddit AMA". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  41. ^ "Robin Pecknold: What Learning Teaches You About Yourself". BBC Radio 6 Music. April 15, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  42. ^ "Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold's Bedtime Mix". BBC Radio 1, Bedtime Mix. April 16, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  43. ^ "Robin Pecknold's Bedtime Mix". BBC Radio 1 Facebook. April 16, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  44. ^ Pecknold, Robin (June 9, 2018). "Robin Pecknold's Instagram, Struggles with Mental Health". Instagram. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  45. ^ Wicks, Amanda (June 10, 2018). "Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold Says He Was Once "Dangerously and Actively Suicidal"". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  46. ^ "White Antelope: "False Knight on the Road" | Tracks". Pitchfork. February 2, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2012.

External links[edit]