Quiet Day

Fort Lean

Ooh La La Records, 2015

http://www.fortlean.com

REVIEW BY: Ludwik Wodka

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/06/2015

The Brooklyn-based quintet Fort Lean’s first full-length album Quiet Day is the long-awaited follow-up to their 2011 EP Beach Holiday. Moving on from the bright jangle-pop of said EP, the new album turns up the gain on their amps, which gives the songs a boost of energy. Similar to Yukon Blonde, with whom they are touring with in 2015, integrating the synthesizer more fully into their sound marks the next step of their sonic evolution… and the results are terrific. Nonetheless, these things do not distract from the band’s strengths, which include singer Keenan Mitchell’s expressive singing style and tight performances from the band. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

My first impression of the album was that it was a sunny and bright record, with a lot of catchy choruses and a singer whose vocals are (refreshingly) in the front of the mix. The album only improved with repeated listenings. Quiet Day has tracks that are deceptively complex, yet they never seem overwrought or self-indulgent. There is a lot going on in these songs, but these twists and turns only serve to keep things interesting.

Right from the opening number, “Cut To The Chase,” the songs are irresistibly catchy and upbeat. Following up with tracks like “Just a Little Spirit” and “Don’t Make It A Habit,” the album runs on full throttle until about halfway through when things settle down and catch their breath on the title track, “Quiet Day.” Even though the pace shifts back and forth between upbeat tracks (“Might’ve Misheard”) and slower tracks (“21”), they are just as comfortable at either tempo: the album is strong from start to finish.

Fort Lean’s Quiet Day is full of optimism and joy, even when at its most wistful. It is the sound of a band waxing in confidence and artistry, on the upswing in their trajectory, and on top of their game.

Rating: A

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