Frontman Robin Pecknold began writing Fleet Foxes' fourth album in September 2018, immediately after touring Crack-Up
. When the COVID lockdown hit, Pecknold had much of Shore
conceptualized and artist contributions recorded, but didn't have any lyrics for his musical compositions.
When the summer of 2020 rolled around, Pecknold still hadn't written any lyrics he felt comfortable with.
He became overwhelmed with worry and anxiety about finishing the album. Pecknold began taking day-long drives in his Toyota 4Runner from his apartment in New York up to Lake Minnewaska and into the Catskill Mountains to clear his head. On one such drive, the words to "Featherweight" came to him, broke the gridlock, and set him up for the rest of the record.
"Before that I had no lyrics and I was really stressed about it, not knowing how to write words that matched the music I was making that didn't put it over the top or dull its impact, that just felt like the right accompaniment," Pecknold explained to American Songwriter
. "With 'Featherweight,' the words just materialized line after line like I was just watching it happen."