Independent Record Label | Est. 2009
Wilmington, North Carolina



Sunday, January 29, 2023

Meet New Mexico Ambient Artist infinitikiss

[Repost from Blood Makes Noise; January 18, 2023]

Infinitikiss is an ever-evolving musical and visual recording project conceptualized by Nic Jenkins, featuring a revolving ensemble of curious and experimental artists, musicians, and performers. Jenkins latest album, titled ambient music, is due out on Fort Lowell Records March 3, 2023. The core material for ambient music came from live improvisations that were recorded to cassette tapes, which originally served as backing tracks for live solo performances and with rotating ensembles (circa 2015-2020), in and around Charleston + Columbia, SC. Since then, the tapes have since become a kind of sample library of colors & shapes that have served a variety of sound collage / design situations, as well as fodder for other strange + beautiful collaborations. 

How did the band form and what does the band name mean? 

INFINITIKISS formed sometime in the middle of 2014 & somewhere in-between bus rides from Charleston to Columbia, SC. I was interested in a relationship that led me to other relationships that extended from the nucleus of the art, film, & music community there. Soda City & CHS have very interconnected music scenes, actually! Around this time is when I crossed paths with BAND & THE BEAT for the first time, which was a lovely moment in that chapter of my life. I journaled a lot on road trips about ways to evolve as an artist, and some of that journaling included lists of concepts and potential monikers. I wanted to go with something slightly more ambiguous and a bit quirky, since performing as “Mr. Jenkins” felt strange after a while (and once I started to try assembling groups of friends to play together). Other names on the list suggested  imagery of palindromes, cyclical patterns, and even conveyor belts (of sound). 

I had reached a point in my musical journey (and a season of re-examining my relationship with my own ego) that made me reconsider introducing a band or ensemble as my name, basically. Deciding on “infinitikiss” as a new working title for this dimension of self-expression & exploration was a choice to welcome more newness & elasticity into my life, and to celebrate that more, and to also suggest timelessness & weightlessness… through song? 

Previous musical projects? How'd you first get into music? 

I’m not sure of a fair way to condense this, but a short list of some important musical  projects I’ve been fortunate to work with are: Josh Martin (drums), Sabine Colleen  (percussion) 2 Slices (drums), Grace Joyner (drums), Falling Off A Building (bass  guitar), Asphalt Orchestra (bass drum), San Fermin (drums), Tracy Shedd (drums,  bass), BODYPARTS (drums), Future Wife (bass guitar, drums), Run Dan Run (drums),  Jack Of Knives (drums) Lindsay Holler (drums) … [ also credited as: Nick Jenkins ] 

I grew up in a religious family in a small town and my parents loved music, so there  was: church music, camp songs, MTV, marching & symphonic bands (through middle &  high school) as my introduction to music, which led to an early appreciation. My first  instrument was the drums. Guitar, bass, and piano followed a few years later. I am  almost 40 years old now! In 3rd grade, I might have almost been labeled a problem  child because of how much I tapped on the desk and was drawing all the time. The way  my parents saw me and nurtured that part of my passion was pivotal! 

I’m not sure where I would be if I had never heard ‘Songs From The Big Chair’ by Tears  For Fears. Thanks, Mom&Dad: your record collection has always been an inspiration. 

First concert that you ever went to?

My first official CONCERT was probably a Christian rock concert or good old Gospel  music extravaganza of some kind. I’m gonna go with Carmen (pop contemporary gospel  artist) at the North Charleston Coliseum. That would’ve been in the early ’90s. It was  definitely a national act production. There may have been pyrotechnics? I also have to  shout-out my mom’s community choir, The Colleton County Mass Choir, for encouraging  & welcoming the high school version of me to play bass with them in such early,  formative years. Before I started playing with them, I would have probably seen them  over a dozen times before. 

What's your writing process like? 

My process has gone through a few different phases. At first it was more of a lyrical based approach, and then grew more comfortable with my primary instrument (the  drums) and then more with guitars, which led to more of a compositional direction. After  that, computers & sample-based music threw me into a sound collage headspace.  Presently, I am allowing life to happen and I’m practicing being present as much as  possible. The arrangement and production of ’ambient music’ happened through a time based accumulation process of documentation & mediation. In a way, it was done  before I began to assemble the album. The music I’m starting to think about working on  now is more formulaic and song-based. Overall, the shortest answer is: the process is a  practice of using collectable sound collage fodder for the improvised assemblages of  songs. 

Even though this project is mostly a solo endeavor, there are sometimes lovely guest  collaborators in the performance and recording scenarios of the music, so there is a bit  of a revolving door of artists I trust to reimagine my music with me, and to make  something totally new. For that & to them I am grateful! 

The first piece of music I ever wrote for infinitikiss was called, “See The Other / Be The  Other / Free The Other”, which was made on GarageBand for iPod touch; composed for  an octet. Jazz has also influenced the way I interpret lots of musical concepts and  possibilities. 

What other artists or songs inspire your music? 

Aloha : one of my favorite bands of all time. Pretty much anything they’ve written and  released has been some perfect soundtrack to my life at that very moment. Their album  ‘Sugar’ found me at an especially tender moment in my life, and still brings tremendous  comfort when I hear it. If I had to pick one favorite song, it would be “Water Your Hands” from the album ‘Here Comes Everyone’ (Polyvinyl Records). 

Baxter (Quentin Baxter) was my drum instructor and mentor throughout college. His  knowledge of music is uncannily broad and He taught me a lot about how your life  practice influences how you practice with your instrument. Being genuine to one’s own  story was also a recurring theme during my studies with him. He is also a founding  member of Ranky Tanky, The Gradual Lean, and frequent collaborator of vocalist Rene  Marie. He was the first person to introduce me to the music of… 

Bjork! Bjork’s music has always been some kind of underlying subliminal poetry that I  consult when I want to imagine the terrifyingly motherly voice of the universe  personified. The mysteries of existence seem a little easier to understand when I listen  to Bjork. 

The music of Broadcast is timeless, is brilliant, is so many great things. _favorite album: ’The Future Crayon’ 
my friends & fam 

Sade – the album ‘Love Is Stronger Than Pride’ 

Hiroshi Yoshimura – the album ‘Green’ 

James Tritten of Fort Lowell Records created this Spotify Playlist that Blood Makes Noise readers may find of interest.  It highlights what they as a label feel are some of the most important works within the ambient genre, having come from a background in shoegaze indie rock:  

What's the live experience like and your philosophy on playing live? Do you think the music live should be identical to the recorded version or should it  be it's own thing?

Infinitikiss “live” is close to what you’d expect walking into a living art exhibition to be  like. As with conveyor belts and things that are just “on” all the time (like espresso  machines or pilot lights), the sets are arranged to flow like the trajectory of a walkabout  or spirit quest. Live performances tend to start… and seamlessly float through songs  until “the end”. I try to make it easy for my collaborators to jump in with very minimal  preparation (with clear requests & parameters), which allow them to improvise in ways  that don’t require lots of rehearsal time. With the use of incorporating graphic scores  and experimental notation, there is more for the players to interpret and bring out of the  musical blueprints. The live experience of this music is also kind of like going to a  science fair and witnessing people explore the various colors & shapes of sounds.  Having songs are what keep things from being completely nebulous. I love when  concerts seem more alive than recordings. I find it rather refreshing to feel at least a  little disoriented when seeing something created in front of me and in real-time. 

Has the band toured? What has the touring experience been, best shows?  worst shows? 

The only touring that has happened has been around the Southeast, in a variety of  small rock clubs, indie film cinemas, contemporary art installations, dance company  collaborations, “happenings”, and special events. When it is a band/group/ensemble, it  isn’t a very conventional one, and because it is still a rather young project, it has yet to  really sprout wings in this way. Thanks to so, so many beautiful beings & generous  creatives in my life, the ensemble size has been anywhere from 2-8 players at once.  South Carolina has a very unique network of artists and musicians. There was this one  time I agreed to perform during a film festival curated by The Nickelodeon / Indie Grits in  Columbia, SC the same night I was playing percussion in a production of Animal Farm:  The Musical at USC. Unfortunately I couldn’t be present for both things, so what did I  do? I asked some friends to perform music written specifically FOR them (to improvise  with), but without me. Even though I double-booked myself, it somehow worked out? I  refer to that ensemble as INFINITIKISS XL, because it was a huge favor to ask. The  piece was called “Disco Limbo Vision”, which was named after a film in the same  programming that night. It was only my “worst” show because I wasn’t there, but also a  fun exercise in trusting others to bring a composition to life. 

The “best” show is probably one in Charleston, SC that has been documented and can  be found on the interwebs. 

Search: Lab Sessions / curated by Khari Lucas & HedHi Media / costumes by: Cara  Persona 

What’s up next for the band? 

There currently is not a band to plan for / with. However, I did just play in Santa Fe with  my friend an Albuquerque-based musician named Mark Nava (who also plays bass with  Sabine Colleen). Mark operated a tasty combo of guitar pedals while I sent audio from  cassette tapes (of ‘ambient music’ loops) and played synth bass / drum machine. It was  super mellow & a gentle kind of fun. I’ve been working on a “dark wave” solo set, which  is a minimal configuration of bass guitar, drum machine, & vocals. My next  compositional fixation will most likely be called ‘Jingle Jangle’ –– a more guitar-centric  batch of songs. 

We’ve been in NM for just over 2 years, and I hope that we continue to build community  and connections with people here to organically grow beautiful life moments, and even  some weird stuff.

Pre-order infinitikiss ambient music on translucent chartreuse green here: 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Alt Weekly Roundup

[Repost from The Alternative; by Zac Djamoos, January 23, 2023]

Lauds – Imitation Life

Imitation Life falls in a proud tradition of jangly indie rock bands letting their dream pop influence shine through—think Antisocialites, Days, Anak Ko. It’s a breezy, bright listen, one that conjures images of beaches at high tide and midday strolls through fields of wildflowers.

Friday, January 27, 2023

OUT NOW: Kicking Bird "Lauren" [Digital Single]

The first single from Wilmington, North Carolina's own Kicking Bird, titled "Lauren", from their debut album Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is available now on all music platforms. 

"It’s got everything anyone could possibly want all wrapped up in three minutes of boundless energy." ~ Music. Defined.

Thursday, January 26, 2023


[Repost from 3Hive; by Todd Simmons, January 20, 2023]

After a few EPs and singles, North Carolina’s Lauds have finally released their debut long player, Imitation Life, and let me tell you, it is some solid jangle/dream pop gold. It’s packed with lush, jangly guitars dancing around echoed vocals and a driving rhythm section. Lauds has set the bar high for all albums released in 2023 with Imitation Life.

Check out album opener “Parallel” and “24” (below) for a taste.

Imitation Life is out now via Fort Lowell Records. Get your ears on this one. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Exclusive: Kicking Bird-“Lauren”

[Repost from Music. Defined., by Josh Terzino, January 17, 2023]

It is impossible to relay just how excited I am to be bringing you this exclusive listen to the first single from Kicking Bird’s debut album, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Years in the making, these eleven tracks will likely make up my entire vibe for the summer. After getting an early listen a while back, I instantly knew that “Lauren” would be the song to get people dancing in the streets. It’s got everything anyone could possibly want all wrapped up in three minutes of boundless energy.

Rarely does a song so easily intertwine diametrically opposed genres-“Lauren” goes from a pop confection one second to a punk anthem the next. It features a pristine combo of guitar and vocals, screaming harmonies, blistering drums, and enough dynamic shifts to make your head spin with delight. This tune acts as a perfect introduction to Kicking Bird and the kind of music you’ll find on the album.

The band put together a Spotify playlist to give listeners an idea of where their inspiration comes from, and there are some great tracks included. Obvious stuff like Springsteen and Vampire Weekend, but also some surprises-Olivia Rodrigo? Howard Shore? In the end it all makes sense, even the Friday Night Lights theme song.

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack isn’t out until the spring, so you have plenty of time to get your vinyl pre-order sorted and pre-save on Spotify. Check out the band’s page to follow along and get updates on the next single and, who knows, maybe a tour sometime in the near future.
Kicking Bird

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

New Album: Lauds || Imitation Life

[Repost from Add to Wantlist; by Dennis, January 20, 2023]

“An upbeat melange of shimmery vocals, multiple interlocking guitar parts, jaunty basslines and motorik-laden drums with a flourish of keys on the side set against themes touching on the anxiety of growing into your own.” That’s how Imitation Life, the full-length debut album by North Carolina five-piece Lauds, is aptly described in the accompanying press release. Listen to the opening sentences of 24 and you’ll immediately understand what is meant: “I wake up and taste the sun outside // Watch the desert // Fears to hide // Or drown, or fight, or feel, or hate, or say, or do, or hear.”

On the ten tracks here, the guitars jangle and haunt you to higher realms – the band does not shy away from means such as mesmerizing keyboard melodies, experimenting with soundscapes or a hair metal solo to enhance that effect (as recently noted, Siouxsie and the Banshees is experiencing a revival, and in this case too reference is made to the British shoegaze band). Four of the songs were already featured on the first two Lauds EPs (we wrote about II previously), below you can listen to three of the new tunes, all equally captivating. This record is somewhat dark, but also warm, dreamy and rich.

Lauds features Gavin Campbell, Boyce S. Evans, J Holt Evans III, James McKay Glasgow and Ross Page. Imitation Life is out now digitally and vinyl LP through Fort Lowell Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Fort Lowell

Saturday, January 21, 2023



Friday, January 20, 2023

OUT NOW: Lauds 'Imitation Life'

Available now on all digital platforms and 12inch vinyl record... Lauds’ debut full-length Imitation Life is a lush, aural tapestry of blissed-out guitars against a backdrop of rhythmic tension woven by the five-piece, Wilmington, NC-based band. The lyrics of the 10 tracks ping-pong between anxious introspection and the search for fleeting bits of contentment in life, like the best empathetic, reflective autumnal rock of the second Brit invasion era. On songs like "Wasted Hours", "24" and "Rust", the elegantly anguished vocals wash over the listener like the waters of Cape Fear and the Atlantic Ocean that dominate the Wilmington landscape, evoking the “post-surf stupor” that songwriters J. Holt Evans lll and McKay Glasgow feel after a day riding its waves.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

JPW 'Something Happening / Always Happening'

[Repost from Arizona Central; by Ed Masley, January 12, 2023]

The album is an atmospheric gem whose highlights range from otherworldly instrumental "Something Happening" to hazy ballads of the sort it would be easy to imagine Roy Orbison recording in his later years (without actually sounding like an Orbison recording).

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Best of 2022 *Updated*

Here are the Fort Lowell Records releases that have been featured on various 'Best of 2022' or 'End of Year' lists for 2022:

Citified Lie Like a Painter [LP]  |  LISTEN NOW

Desario Signal and Noise [LP]  |  BUY VINYL RECORD + LISTEN NOW

JPW Something Happening / Always Happening [Debut LP]  |  BUY VINYL RECORD + LISTEN NOW

Lauds II [Digital EP]  |  LISTEN NOW
Kim Ware and the Good Graces Ready [Digital LP]  |  LISTEN NOW

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Meet Wilmington North Carolina Indie Rock Band Lauds

[Repost by Blood Makes Noise; by Neil Sabatino, December 20, 2022]

Lauds’ debut full-length Imitation Life is a lush, aural tapestry of blissed-out guitars against a backdrop of rhythmic tension woven by the five-piece, Wilmington, NC-based band. The lyrics of the 10 tracks ping-pong between anxious introspection and the search for fleeting bits of contentment in life, like the best empathetic, reflective autumnal rock of the second Brit invasion era. On songs like Wasted Hours, 24 and Rust, the elegantly anguished vocals wash over the listener like the waters of Cape Fear and the Atlantic Ocean that dominate the Wilmington landscape, evoking the “post-surf stupor” that songwriters J. Holt Evans lll and Mckay Glasgow feel after a day riding its waves. We caught up with the band to ask them about what inspires them and how they formed:

How did the band form and what does the band name mean? 

MK: We had become friends when another band I play with recorded an album at Holt III and Boyce’s dad’s home studio.  Holt II (their dad) had told me that Holt III would be interested in some of the new demos we were making.  I met up with him and found out he had some demos as well and I really liked them.  Then we got together with our friend Rett Nabell and started writing.  Within the first months we released a single and started playing shows, even got an opening spot for Futurebirds on their tour.  Since then, the lineup has changed some and currently it’s the original three and our good friend Gavin Campbell playing bass.  As far as the name, I had always liked religious words as band names.  We wanted it to be one word and sonically interesting.  We landed on Lauds which is the name of an early morning prayer service in the Anglican Church.  The echoey cathedral-like associations seemed cool to us and our style of music and applied with some of the kind of Southern gothic artwork and literature that we like. 

JHEIII:   I also really like bands with one syllable names: Sleep, DIIV, Mourn, Wire, Blur etc. 

Previous musical projects? How'd you first get into music? 

The boys had the advantage of growing up with a very musical father who played in numerous rock bands and steeped them, and subsequently me, in shoegaze and British indie bands like Suede, Ride and My Bloody Valentine.  We’ve all been in other bands but all agree that this is closest to the music we want to make.  We are drawn to hooky, loud guitar music. 

First concert that you ever went to? 

JHE III: I think the first show that I bought tickets for and went to myself was maybe seeing the Love Language (legendary North Carolina band) at this place called the Soapbox in Wilmington when I was in high school. Was an amazing bar that put on all ages shows and you could do your laundry on the first floor. Wilmington hasn't ever really recovered from it shutting down. They turned it into a waffle house. 

MK: One of the first local to Wilmington shows I went to was seeing He is Legend when I was maybe 14.  We still like their music a lot and have gotten to know some of the guys.  First big National show I went to was probably seeing Bloc Party and Minus the Bear in Winston Salem. 

What's your writing process like? 

MK: Holt and I are the primary songwriters but everyone contributes ideas. We have been pretty reflective over the last couple years figuring out life and where we are going.  We talk a lot about our lives and relationships as friends.  Our lyrics have been pretty introspective up to this point but there is collaboration on all instrumentation, lyrics and artwork in our band. 

What other artists or songs inspire your music? 

JHE III: Figured I would take this one as the resident nerd 

1.  92 degrees-Siouxsie and the Banshees: Tinderbox is really the record that got me into this band. My parents didn’t listen to Siouxsie very much so I kind of discovered them on my own and was blown away. The production is just incredible and the guitars really sparkle on this song. The way the guitar melodies underpin her vocals throughout the song was really inspiring to me when writing lead parts for songs like ‘24’ and ‘Somehow’ on the record. 

2. Here's Where the Story Ends- The Sundays: I adore the Sundays and this record in particular is one of my favorites. Completely guilty of trying to ape the 12 string strummed acoustic sound from this song on our song "Rust". 

3. Slowdive-Slowdive: This is such a beautiful song. Rachel Goswell and Neil Halstead's vocals really evoke a sense of yearning and McKay and I feel like we try to channel similar feelings in the songs that we write for Lauds. I also love it when bands are self referential, and I guess in this case they are also referencing the Banshees. 

4. Hide- Secret Shame: Secret Shame are an incredible band from Asheville. This track with its bassline and vocal hook is a real ear-worm. A buddy of mine and I went to see them earlier this year at Ruby Deluxe in Raleigh and we were completely blown away by their energy and just how good the songs were. Lena, their vocalist is incredible and absolutely belts it live. I love their new record and and while not an explicit influence on our music I feel as though we operate in similar spheres sonically so I wanted to shout them out. 

5. The Disillusionist- The Church: Menacing song. Not expressedly political but seems to gain poignancy with each passing year. Marty Wilson-Piper and Peter Koppes guitar-interplay is definitely an influence on our sound. Priest = Aura is such a great record. 

6. In Blur- Deafheaven: This was probably my favorite track of 2021. I love that it’s a bit of an homage to Vapor Trail by Ride. I’m a huge Deafheaven (and Ride) fan and the more post rock oriented bits of their songs are definitely an influence on us. I still probably listen to ‘Sunbather’ all the way through once a week. 

7. Return of the Roughnecks- The Chameleons: Riff after riff after riff after riff. Profound and powerful lyrics. An all time moment for us as a band was opening up a solo acoustic show for Mark Burgess this summer. Lovely guy and a dream come true for us. 

8. When I turn 50- Dulce Hombre: Dulce Hombre is our friend Jeff Corkery’s solo project. We wrote the song Distant Images together and he is one of the best musicians and guitar players I know. His first EP as Dulce Hombre is incredible. Mix of dancehall, Costello type power pop, surf rock. Sounds like drinking mojitos all day by the pool with your friends. 

9. Burnt Almonds- Mute Swan: James, the boss of our label Fort Lowell, showed me this band who I believe are from Tucson. Guitars, bass, drums, all locked to kind of make one big mega-riff. Super hypnotic. The record this song is on ‘Only Ever’ is unreal in the car. Would love for Lauds to play with them some day. 

What's the live experience like and your philosophy on playing live? Do you think the music live should be identical to the recorded version or should it be it's own thing? 

As a band you are always working to make the live show better.  I feel like we have found the right pieces to do that.  We don’t have a lot of theatrics.  We put a lot of effort into just getting through all the parts as cleanly as we can while also trying to put feeling into the vocals.  We are really working on recreating some of the background vocals from recordings being featured more in live shows.  We are also trying to connect more with the crowd.  It used to feel like we were just trying to survive shows because there was a lot of moving parts with pedals and riffs that were 10 percent above our abilities at the time.  Now we have gotten better and it feels like we can have fun.  It’s also cool to see people singing out there.  That means a lot to us. 

Has the band tour? What has the touring experience been, best shows? worst shows? 

MK: We haven’t really toured but we have played shows in the Triangle and are getting more traction in Winston Salem and western NC.  Best show is definitely getting to open for Mark Burgess of the Chameleons at Monstercade in Winston Salem.  We haven’t had any terrible shows from a crowd or venue standpoint.  But I do remember feeling the most stressed out about playing a show in the triangle the Sunday after thanksgiving. It was rainy and we left some gear and we’re all feeling stressed about whether we had done enough to promote it.  It actually turned out fine and we all agreed we needed to be better prepared if we were going to be going on the road.  We’ve had opportunities to get on the road more but we’ve been learning from weekend trips and waiting to put out an album til now. 

What's up next for the band? 

MK: We’ve already been recording new stuff and we will either have a new batch of EPs or album within the next year.  It took us a long time to get our self titled EP out but I feel like we have been cooking since then and feeling more certain about the type of songs we want to write.  We are also working more on visuals for our music.  We’ve known that it is important but haven’t taken the time u til recently to work with some of our visual artist friends.  Be on the look out for those! 

Thursday, December 22, 2022

New Year's Eve

Join us Saturday, December 31st at Satellite Bar & Lounge in Wilmington, North Carolina for our New Year's Eve celebration, featuring a live concert performance by Kicking Bird — who's debut album Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be released in the new year (more to come on that) — followed by a Let's Dance DJ Set by Fort Lowell Records!

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Fort Lowell Records is a Teenager now!

Happy Birthday, Fort Lowell Records! On this day (December 21), thirteen years ago (2009), our record label was born out of the love and admiration for artists within our community. It all started from a conversation with Zach Toporek from Young Mothers allowing us to release two of their songs for our first 7inch, aided by the sale of our yellow 1976 CJ5 Jeep (AKA: A ‘Rock Crawler’, with 35" tires and a 4" lift kit; damn I miss her) to help fund that project, as well as a few other records — including our second release “I’m Afraid of Everything” by …music video? (pictured here).  Thank you, everyone, for the continuous support. 2023 is going to be an awesome year for Fort Lowell Records, which will include new releases Lauds, infinitikiss, MindsOne & Rizzy, Blaine Long & Jon Rauhouse, Kicking Bird, Brian Lopez, Blab School, James Sardone, Fuzz & Mac, Dead Cool, Naïm Amor, Summer Set, and more! Happy Holidays! 🍰

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

WL//WH Weekly Shoegaze / Dreampop / Psychedelic / Indie Tips

[Repost from White Light // White Heat; by Fabrizio Lusso, December 13, 2022]

WilmingtonNorth Carolina Dream Pop /Jangle Rock /Shoegaze band Lauds “Somehow” the second single from their 2023 debut album ‘Imitation Life’ via Fort Lowell Records

Second preview from next year’s debut LP for North Carolina‘s 5-piece weaves nostalgic introspective dreamy haze pitched with billowy jangly 6-string chimes, through a skittery scrum of obsessively winding and shimmering guitar melodies laced with wistful glistening strains, underpinned by sinuous limber basslines and shaky drums, to shudder with mercurial radiance over bittersweet romantic vocals, longing in loving memories amid sparkling angsty auras of starlit muses.


Friday, December 16, 2022

OUT NOW: 'This Water is Life, Vol. II' ft. Haji P. + Color Temperature

This Water is Life is a self-sustained and ongoing series of split EPs with two express purposes: to highlight new hip-hop / indie rock music from Southeastern North Carolina, as well as to provide a platform for Cape Fear River Watch and Coastal Plain Conservation Group to deliver up-to-date authoritative reports on the health of the Cape Fear River Basin for both human beings and wildlife.

Volume II features Haji P. and Color Temperature.

Haji P. (short for Pajamas) is a North Carolina based multi-talented artist, who is heavily influenced by 80s / 90s pop culture.  As the illustrator 'HP Fangs', he is known for drawing big teeth on things. Haji is also a Middle / High School Art Teacher at the Glow Academy, has always been in youth advocacy and development, and uses the word “dope” – a lot.  Haji P.'s last musical release was his album, 'Neighborhood Kid', and he is sometimes found rapping with the San Francisco based collective, Rec League.

Color Temperature is the moniker for multi-talented multi-instrumentalist Ross Langdon Page; known for his musical contributions to AZZA, Lauds, Seeking Madras, and Tumbleweed, as well as his work as a professional photographer. "The River" was written from the perspective of a leaf traveling through the Cape Fear River in North Carolina, beginning at the mouth and passing through the polluted waters of the Chemours chemical plant—the company responsible for dumping Gen X into the drinking water of residents—before passing through Wilmington, NC and floating out into the vast ocean.


NOTE: The vinyl release of This Water is Life, Vol. II sold out during pre-orders.  You can enjoy This Water is Life, Vol. II, along with Volume I, on Fort Lowell Records' Bandcamp page, as well as all Digital Music Platforms.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

REVIEW: Lauds 'Imitation Life'

[Repost from Whisperin’ and Hollerin’; by Simon Phillips, December 7, 2022]

Imitation Life is the debut album by Lauds who come from Wilmington North Carolina, that sounds like it's a hotbed for dream pop. Lauds are McKay Glasgow and J.Holt Evans III and friends.

The album opens with "Parallel" a quite laid-back fey dreamscape of whose guitars will slowly open your mind up ready for the rest of Imitation Life as they give their best for you.

"Somehow" is gauzy dream pop with crystalline guitars to envelop you in its warm embrace to help you through winter while making sure you don't look back as you focus on the only things that really matter.

"24" feels like it's 24 bars of insistent bass with guitars sparkling over the top of that bassline, Gossamer vocals whisper in your ears, it's very relaxed and yet rather persistent as it repeats and evolves over the course of those 24 minutes hours and days.

"Cee Dee Lamb" feels like you are broiling that lamb on skewers of delicate guitar lines that build as the Lamb begins to char slightly is it rotates and enervates. The vocals make for an oblique background texture diving in and out of the music.

"Don't Mind" sounds rather sun dappled and laid back with a gentle psychedelic edge to it. The vocals have a sense of regret even as they tell you they Don't Mind it still feels like they really do care.

"Wasted Hours" feels like a song for all the time we wasted in lockdown, as well as all the time they've wasted waiting around for someone to show up, the super steady drumming allows the guitars to swell and rise and go off a little as they sound like Postal Blue or Orange Juice.

"Rust" has the vocals cocooned in reverb and echo set against the dreamy guitars that makes this almost feel like an anorak anthem.

"Distant Images (Ft Dulce Hombre)" has the hardest guitar line of the album as it cuts across the speaker's rapier style before the dreamier laid-back guitars come back like they have overdosed on early Soup Dragons singles while they try to comfort you in this gossamer cocoon.

"Wait Forever" could be about waiting for answers to the questions about your love as they are so intent on making sure the guitars mesh perfectly and the drums are spatially just how they ought to be that they forgot to tell us any relevant answers as we carry on waiting.

The album closes with "Misplace A Night" that I assume is about, getting so totally mashed that you haven't a clue what day of the week it is, let alone where you are, or what you were meant to be doing, as this gently intoxicating piece of Pastel shaded dreaminess leaves you coming down wondering what happened to your Cardigans during that night.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Aquarium Drunkard :: 2022 Year in Review

JPW—Something Happening / Always Happening: Aquarium Drunkard’s own Jason P. Woodbury ventures into the heart of cosmic Americana with a high, tender voice and songs as serene as the Arizona desert. Jolts of organ, gently plucked guitars, and the sputters of the Rhythm Ace drum machine lend a timeless quality to his band’s shimmering, mirage-like arrangements. Slow down and get lost in the haze.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Music Year-End List || Dennis’ Favorite Albums of 2022

[Repost from Add to Wantlist; by Dennis, December 7, 2022]

2. KITIMOTO || Vintage Smell

[Indie Rock, US || Fort Lowell Records] The Phoenix, Arizona-based quartet’s debut album is diverse, bewitching and addictive, colors outside the lines of genres and expectations, with intense guitar duels, poetic lyrics and convincing vocals. It surprises and amazes me every time.


Friday, December 9, 2022

OUT NOW: Lauds "Somehow" [Digital Single]

The second single "Somehow" from Lauds' spectacular debut album Imitation Life is out now on all digital platforms.   ""Somehow" is gauzy dream pop with crystalline guitars to envelop you in its warm embrace to help you through winter while making sure you don't look back as you focus on the only things that really matter." ~ Simon Phillips, Whisperin’ and Hollerin’

Lauds Imitation Life is due out January 20, 2023

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

HCTF premiere - Color Temperature: The River

[Repost from Here Comes the Flood; by Hans Werksman, November 30, 2022]

Ross Langdon Page, who goes by the stage name Color Temperature takes part in the second installment of This Water is Life series. Each EP has one side of hiphop and one side of indie music. The release supports a good cause: keeping tabs on Cape Fear River Basin in North Carolina by Cape Fear River Watch and Coastal Plain Conservation Group. He contributed the sprawling track The River, a piece that speeds up and slows down like its title suggests. Part ambient, part left-field danceable indie rock, and sprinkled with synths and spoken word, he created a journey that you don't want to end.

Langdon Page explains: "The Cape Fear River in North Carolina is 191 miles long. About 2/3 of the way to the ocean lies the Fayetteville Works Chemours manufacturing plant, which has been poisoning the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of NC residents since the mid-1980s. “The River” is a 13 minute 48 second journey down the Cape Fear, through the eyes of a leaf - first falling from its tree at the mouth of the river in Raven Rock State Park, traveling through the toxic waters near the plant, past the town of Wilmington, NC, then eventually floating out into the ocean."

The River will be released via Fort Lowell Records. This Water is Life, Vol. II is available for pre-order here (vinyl - 100 handnumbered copies, digital). Hiphop artist Haji P. contributed four tracks that take up the A-side of the EP. Release date: December 16.