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Fort Lean

For Lean releases debut LP 'Quiet Day' + plays CMJ at Pianos on 10.13

On October 2nd, Brooklyn stalwarts Fort Lean released their debut full-length album "Quiet Day" on indie label Ooh La La Records. Establishing themselves on the local scene over the last few years through a number of singles, EPs and live performances, the band delivers with its latest release their most accessible but also best orchestrated work to date. Standout track “Might’ve Misheard” (streaming) emphasizes the verse/chorus structure by aligning it with quite/loud production values. While the verses are sonically spacious (allowing for intimate detail storytelling), the bombastic chorus delivers a memorable vocal hook bathed in a sea of distorted guitars. “I thought you said we could both disappear – then we’d get away” provides both auditory and emotional release, while cleverly embedding the songs title within follow-up lyrics. Previously released opening single “Cut To The Chase” builds around clean, undistorted guitar figures over a 50’s stroll rhythm. Melancholy bridge chords emerge as the lyrics turn pensive and confessional. “Never mind, it’s alright, you can lie, you can say that it’s ok” comes as the defining hook. Title track “Quiet Day” burns slowly as a steady bass guitar pattern runs through it. Mental turmoil is suggested not only through lyrics but via audio textures that play like a tense psychological dramatic film soundtrack. Catch them at Pianos during the CMJ Music Marathon on October 13. - Dave Cromwell - The Deli interviewed Fort Lean in 2012.


Seen live at Northside: The FLuids, Fort Lean, Camvean

On Thursday night at Cameo Gallery, one of the few small Williamsburg venue still standing, three different-sounding bands played their own kinetic sets.

Brooklyn quintet The Fluids took the stage first (who also played our Northside show the following night - pictured), swiftly surging into a loud pop-punk track that was almost manic in its blistering guitars and strong vocals. Frontman Michael O’Donnell was a gripping performer, his hunched-over guitar-thrashing and sudden shouts into the microphone recalling Joe Strummer’s powerful presence as The Clash’s leader. The sheer passion of that iconic British group did find kinship with the members of The Fluids, even as they exuded an assured cool in a next song that channeled The Strokes’ early work with its rattling guitar lines. Continuing onto a playfully-menacing cover of “Pablo Picasso” by The Modern Lovers and ending with what sounded like their single “Just Like Me” (streaming below), which placed reflective spoken-word in upbeat punk, The Fluids made an undeniably gripping introduction into the next band,.

Walking onto the stage with a forest-green sleeveless tee and a snapback hat, Fort Lean's frontman Keenan Mitchell immediately displayed charm, smiling at and amiably talking to the audience. But then came his band’s delightfully-blaring songs and Smith got down to his first guitar solo, the hat flying off his head. It was a buoyant yet tight intro that soon led to a potentially hypnotic third song (seemingly “Cut To The Chase,” streaming below) that set Smith’s acrobatic voice to swirling synths. Fort Lean weren’t just merry dancers, though, as their last song had a subtle melancholy that reminded us of their eclecticism.

After a short break, the small space filling with people, headlining act Caveman (who graced the cover of The Deli NYC's issue #27 back in 2011) took the stage. A few members wearing ties and enveloped in a purple light, the Brooklyn band segued into an almost seductive set of mostly new, as-yet-unreleased material. Synths soared and drums tumbled but the group’s poise remained, even as thunderous guitars washed over lead singer Matthew Iwanusa and his bandmates. Unlike the two singers before him, Iwanusa held a relatively calm presence. Not much bending, a little swaying. This very serenity, though, was rapturous, his stilled eyes closing the night with quiet power. – Zach Weg


Fort Lean announces debut LP "Quoet Day"

Started as a rather psych project entrenched in melody, Brooklyn Fort Lean in the last few years has developed its sound in a decidedly poppier direction (something also reflected in the band's press shots), although without losing some of the edgy sound of its beginnings. The band has just put the finishing touches to debut album "Quuet Day", which follows their 2011 self titled debut EP and a couple of singles from the following year, and it's shceuled to be released on June 2. Check out the preview single 'Cut to the Chase" below.

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!


Fort Lean and Sacco play Baby's All Right on 02.13

Once known for their psych pop sound characterized by heavy drum patterns, single stroked chiming guitar chords and distant synthesizers, Brooklyn band Fort Lean (pictured) released new tracks that show a decidedly different side. “Do You Remember” places emphasis on lead vocals built on top of a rhythm that draws from 50’s do-wop. “The Mall” may still keep guitars out front, however its sing along pop anthem style reigns in previous psych leanings. “Envious” is built around a hand-clap percussion pattern and soaring harmonies that seems to draw inspiration from late 60’s/early 70’s hit radio. “All The Lights” employs dramatic stops and starts, ultimately moving from a slow ballad intro to a quicker paced arrangement.

Sacco is a brand new Brooklyn band that merges ambient atmospherics, relaxed drumming and diverse textural guitar flourishes with an appealing vocal style on their current dark psych track “Driving.” See both bands live when they play Baby's All Right on 02.13 with Brooklyn band Tropic of Pisces. - Dave Cromwell


Fort Lean releases new EP + plays Glasslands 11.1

Fort Lean's newest single 'Sunsick' comes crashing against you like the mysterious characters confronted on Williamsburg's beach in the song's new video. This is a band with all the tell-tale makings of the 'next big indie thing.' Surf-ready, psychedelic anthems = check. Renowned producer (Patrick Wemberly of Chairlift) = check. Expertly dyed lead singer hair = check. Lead singer Keenan Mitchell not only has shiny locks, but a soaring tenor to match, and new EP 'Change Your Name' should be a good indication of things to come for the still young group. Check out Keenan's bizarre hangover in the video below, and see them when they come to Glasslands November 1st for the EP release party. - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets)

Fort Lean - "Sunsick" Video from stereogum on Vimeo.


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