Independent Record Label | Est. 2009
Wilmington, North Carolina



Wednesday, August 10, 2022

LISTEN: Kim Ware and the Good Graces Rock With A “capital R”

[Repost from Rock & Roll Globe; by Ron Hart, August 3, 2022]

New album, Ready, comes out September 16th

Since coming together over 15 years ago, Kim Ware and her band, the Good Graces, have been an active entity touring the country and playing countless festivals alongside a long list of renowned artists including Indigo Girls, Sierra Ferrell, Granville Automatic and The Old Ceremony. 

Their sound has been compared to artists like Neko Case, Drive-By Truckers, Phoebe Bridgers and The Weepies among others. But upon listening to the forthcoming Good Graces album, entitled Ready, it’s clear how Ware and her mates are coming into their own distinctive sound themselves, finding them stepping out of the country/folk trappings and towards a more electric feel reminiscent of celebrated 90s acts like Belly and Juliana Hatfield. 

The album, which is due out on September 16 and produced by former Superchunk multi-instrumentalist Jerry Kee, is filled with songs written both before the COVID-19 outbreak, like the breakup rocker “U2 (Means to an End),” the shimmering “Overflowing,” and a tribute to her late father called “So Many Questions.” Others were written in the throes of the pandemic and subsequent civil unrest that transpired under the Trump Administration, like the self-evident, “Stopped Making Plans” and “Odds and Evens,” written in response to the events of January 6th. 

Then there are songs that are more universal and unbound by time or events like the confessional rocker “capital R,” which Rock & Roll Globe is proud to premiere today on the site.

“This was one of the first songs we finished for the album,” Ware explains. “Instantly it seemed to have a more driving, rocking feel than most of my songs, and we really leaned into that for the production. I was sort of going for a 90s / early 2000s indie-alternative vibe. I came up playing drums in bands in the 90s, so that era — stuff like Liz Phair, The Breeders, and Throwing Muses — will always be a big influence on me, though it isn’t always evident in my writing. I would say this sort of set the tone for the rest of the album, pushing us more in a direction of an indie/alternative production quality (and less country-folk like I expected). It’s one of my favorites to play live, mainly due to the energy, and often some friends will join in with backing vocals and hand claps.”

Lyrically, Ware tells Rock & Roll Globe how “capital R” inspired her to dig deeper into her ability to resolve conflict, something so many of us who’ve lost family and friends to our country’s stark political divide could relate.

“I’ve written a few ‘therapy songs’ over the past couple of years, and I think ‘capital R’ was the first, or at least the first that was an intentional attempt to get some resolution with a situation I was having problems with,” she reveals. “It came out of an assignment from my therapist. I was having a difficult time dealing with what I’ll just refer to as ‘unwanted’ feelings about a couple of my interpersonal relationships; basically, there was a common theme I found in how I was responding to conflict, and I wasn’t very proud of it. My therapist urged me to journal about what the feelings do FOR me. 

“My initial response was that it doesn’t do anything for me; it’s something I’d like to change. But I sat with it a bit and wrote about it. It was really helpful in that it gave me a different perspective and just a better understanding of the conflicts, at least in terms of my responses to them and how they got so problematic in the first place. The whole process was super therapeutic and opened my eyes to a new way of writing.”

Listen to “Capital R” below and pre-order Ready here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

James Sardone of 'This Water is Life, Vol. I'

[L-R] Ian Millard of Dogwood Lane Studio, James Sardone himself, and Lincoln Morris

Monday, August 8, 2022

Desario- Signal and Noise (Fort Lowell Records/ Sunday Records)

[Repost from Dagger Zine; by Tim Hinely, August 5, 2022]

Desario is a Sacramento band led by guitarist/vocalist John Conley and guitarist/keyboardist Michael Yoas (who engineered it as well…..the combo is rounded out by Mike Carr on bass and Kirklyn Cox on drums). You might remember Conley’s name as he’s been in a few terrific combos over the years, namely Holiday Flyer and California Oranges to name but two (I first met John and his sister Katie in the mid-90s when they came to a show or two that I had booked in Santa Rosa, CA at a place called Café This).

Desario is a bit different than his previous combos, guitars that bite a bit more and while there is plenty of jangle in the guitars, they seem a bit tougher this time out. I’ve always like Conley’s voice, certainly pleasant and perfect for this type of music.  Signal and Noise is their 4th full-length and definitely my favorite by them as the band has really focused on the songwriting and tightened things up all the way around. Cuts like ‘Strange Shapes,” “Nevergreen” and the dreamy “Wake Up” exude a certain confidence that I hadn’t heard on previous records. “Throw It Back” is another, top-notch/mid-tempo winner. The recording is ultrafine as well. It sounds well-produced and clear without sounding slick.

I wish it wasn’t so long in between records but hey, these guys are working stiffs like the rest of us with jobs and lives so I should really cut ‘em some slack. 9 songs in 31 minutes, which is a perfect length for me.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Pre-Order Moyamoya 'Hawn' 12inch Vinyl LP now

Moyamoya were an instrumental post-rock band from Jacksonville, Florida; for fans of bands like Explosions In The Sky, The Fucking Champs, Mercury Program, Mogwai, This Will Destroy You, and Tortoise.  Their self-titled debut album was released in 2014, and received great reviews: 
  • "MOYAMOYA is very noisey, very loud, and far exceeds any expectations. This album is hands down my favourite vinyl to come out of 2014." ~ Soft Concrete
They continued to deliver a series of Digital Singles throughout 2016 and 2017, followed by their sophomore album Hawn on Christmas Eve 2018 as a Digital LP — which Fort Lowell Records is very proud to announce will now be made available on vinyl record for the very first time ever!

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Audio Explorations 'ActionReaction' 20th Anniversary Vinyl Edition, pre-order now

Audio Explorations' ActionReaction is undoubtedly a grand masterpiece of raw emotion, intense melody, and a very eerie sense of release. An extremely honest piece of work, this album will leave you in awe." ~ PopMatters

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Audio Explorations' sophomore album, Fort Lowell Records is bringing you this album on vinyl record for the very first time.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Kim Ware and the Good Graces 'Ready' available now for pre-order

Kim Ware and the Good Graces have a brand new Digital LP coming out in September titled Ready, and it is available now to pre-order!  For fans of Belle & Sebastian, Neko Case, Julee Cruse, Indigo Girls, and Liz Phair.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Signal and Noise

[Repost from This Wreckage; by Chris Gilliland, July 30, 2022]

Sacramento’s Desario has released their fourth album!  This is a great surprise, because it’s their first new material since 2016.  When they released two fantastic EPs that year, for some reason, I thought more new material was right around the corner.  Instead, over a year later they compiled the two EPs to create their third album, III.  And now five years later, they are back with more! 

Since Desario’s first album back in 2009, they’ve been slowly evolving.  The four-piece create a smooth, but intricate post punk sound.  The evolution has come with songwriting.  They have become more direct over the years, and a little edgier, without losing their hypnotic sound.

First of all, Signal and Noise, is immaculately recorded by guitarist/keyboardist, Michael Yoas.  The sound is tight and beautiful.  There seems to be an added layer of atmosphere from keyboards and a tightly wound buzz that moves through these songs.  I also noticed that even though the songs in general have become more spacious, making room for John Conley’s vocals over the years, his voice feels like it’s mixed a little lower here.  Whatever, the case, the entirety of side one is super catchy and a pleasure to hear, highlighted by the bass intro of “Throw it Back.”  This song displays the twin guitar strengths of Conley and Yoas perfectly all in a haunting three-minute pop song, as does the Holiday Flyer reminiscent “Nevergreen.”

Side two opens with my favorite song on the album, the mesmerizing “Things We Left Behind.”  This song is so powerful in so many ways.  It reminds a bit of their ‘sister’ band Soft Science with its keyboard background along with that grinding buzz.  It is truly a transporting song.  It manages the trick of being super dreamy and massive sounding.  The final songs feature Mike Carr’s wonderful basslines (especially the closer, “Eraser”) within wistful sounding nuggets.

These guys will likely never be a big ‘buzz’ band, but whenever and whatever they do, I am here for it!

Sunday, July 31, 2022

COMING SOON: Audio Explorations 'ActionReaction' - 20th Anniversary Vinyl Edition

Audio Explorations was a indie rock duet from Jacksonville, Florida, who existed between the years of 1996 and 2002.  Their critically acclaimed sophomore album ActionReaction was originally released by Eskimo Kiss Records on February 12, 2002... Fort Lowell Records is excited to share with you that we will be releasing the 20th Anniversary Vinyl Edition of Audio Explorations ActionReaction this year.  Stay tuned for more information to come! 

Audio Explorations - blogging a tour journal from the road via dial-up internet access over a flip-phone cell phone; February 12, 2002

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Must-Hear Songs by Phoenix Musicians of July 2022

[Repost from Phoenix New Times; by Chris Coplan, July 26, 2022]

JPW, "Halfway to Eloy"

Jason P. Woodbury is a Renaissance man here in the Valley. He’s been a writer and editor (including for New Times); hosted several podcasts (including for Wastoids); and he even performs in two bands, Kitimoto and the solo project JPW. It’s the latter outfit that’s been Woodbury’s focus as of late, as he’ll release Something Happening / Always Happening on September 9. So, what sort of musical wonders has Woodbury crafted over his multifaceted career? Why new singles like "Halfway to Eloy," a sleek, earnest rock ballad celebrating the wonders of our wonderful desert home.

Monday, July 25, 2022

JPW Takes a Cosmic Rock Roadtrip With "Halfway to Eloy" (Premiere)

[Repost from PopMatters; by Jonathan Frahm, July 18, 2022]

Jason P. Woodbury (JPW) finds the avenue between cosmic country and psychedelic rock on his offbeat new single, “Halfway to Eloy”.

Jason P. Woodbury is the voice behind JPW, the self-titled acronym representing the Arizona songwriter’s latest output. The nine-track LP slides in just shy of a 40-minute runtime, featuring a penchant for the psychedelic and mystical that scratches a different itch than the crunching guitars of his rock outfit, KITIMOTO. Both are evocative of the desert Woodbury has come up in, but where KITIMOTO rides a blazing, guitar-driven wave, JPW wanders on a more incongruous, mystified string. “Halfway to Eloy” saunters between influences like Bruce Springsteen and Todd Rundgren, the artist notes.

“In a lot of weird ways, I don’t quite know what ‘Halfway to Eloy’ is about myself,” says Woodbury. “I want to evoke this out-there ‘State Trooper’ vibe where you don’t get a full view of what you’re digesting, but you get it from a certain point of view. There’s mystery. I like the idea of this song being viewed from this weird lens.”

The single came to be with the help of an ace crew, including producer Michael Krassner (Boxhead Ensemble) and longtime collaborators Zach Toporek and Zane Gillum. Where “Halfway to Eloy” veers into a breakbeat-esque, funky aesthetic in its second half, JPW credits Gillum for helping to shift its pace. “Zach brings so much new to me. It was a pivotal point in the making of the record, realizing that this thing could be mystical and a little funny.”

Regarding his collaboration with Krassner, Woodbury states, “Krass is one of those dudes who quietly and unassumingly elevates everything he partakes in. He took these recordings that were scattered and done in all of these various places and wove it into this gorgeous, cohesive thing. Having someone of his caliber on this record is still mind-blowing to me. It freaks me out.”

JPW’s debut album, Something Happening / Always Happening, is set to release on Fort Lowell on 9 September. “Halfway to Eloy” drops on 22 July, finding itself somewhere between cosmic country and psychedelic soft rock. The project nods to the natural Arizona vistas that Woodbury grew up with.

Recognizing this connection, JPW says, “It’s hard for me to put a finger on it, but I’m from Arizona and grew up in Arizona. This is where I’m from. A lot of these songs were inspired by time outside and time spent in the Arizona wilderness. I grew up in Coolidge. There’s an evocation of the desert that I’m drawn to; long before my family was in Coolidge, Lee Hazelwood, Duane Eddy, and Waylon Jennings were on a radio station over there. “

“I love where I live. I didn’t mean for the JPW music for it to be evocative of that, but it sort of tumbled out of my brain and became that way. It also tumbled out of the brains of my collaborators, like Michael Krassner, who told me that it reminded him of the Verde River in the 1970s.”

Saturday, July 23, 2022

What's New In Our Inbox!

[Repost from Blood Makes Noise; July 21, 2022]

BAND: Desario

BloodMakesNoise Rating: 8.3/10

Genre: Dream Pop, Jangly Indie Rock, Post Punk

What the band says they sound like: Somberly meditative and immersive shoegazing, tight set of indie rock tunes that mines a darker-tinged shoegaze rooted in British post-punk and new wave.

What we think they sound like: I like this a lot, it has this classic feel somewhere in between Mission of Burma and New Order, maybe throw in a little Stone Roses. It's pretty mellow for something labeled post punk, the second track "Things We Left Behind" feels gothy at moments before it breaks into full song and then it almost feels like a Sundays track. I think fans of 80's brit rock like The Smiths or The Cure will like this as much as maybe a fan of Sunny Day Real Estate. It carefully skates the line between pop and post punk all while sounding contemporary. 

Songs to add to your playlist: Strange Shapes, Things We Left Behind

Friday, July 22, 2022

OUT NOW: JPW "Halfway to Eloy" [Digital Single]

JPW is the moniker for Jason P. Woodbury, host of Aquarium Drunkard's weekly Transmissions podcast and Range and Basin on Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard with dublab.  Today, JPW's second single -- "Halfway to Eloy" -- from their debut album -- Something Happening / Always Happening -- is out as a digital single on all platforms.  For fans of Bill Callahan, Jim James, Cass McCombs, Jeff Tweedy, and Kurt Vile.

"A cosmic rock roadtrip." ~ PopMatters

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Album Review – Signal and Noise by Desario (2022) (Sunday Records / Fort Lowell Records)

[Repost from Janglepophub; by Darrin Lee, July 16, 2022]

Although Sacrameto based foursome, Desario, have been releasing music  since 2009, they somehow remain that ‘brilliant band’ that drift under the radars of the majority of the more glossy blogs and zines and seem to thrive upon the essence of being the enigmatic secret of all us micro-blogs that a) really matter and b) do not care about hit stats.

This fourth, Signal and Noise album, could (…and should!) be about to raise their star further into the heavens, as it is undoubtedly their most accomplished release yet and one that seems to reduce the various musical layers, that has always been their trademark, by just enough to enable identification of definitive genres and influences  in an album that is decidedly eclectic.

At it’s most beautiful, Strange Shapes and Eraser juxtapose a very slight fuzz-laden inclination, with a hazy, dreamy jangle that is so reminiscent of Sunday Records labelmates, The Suncharms.

The beauty becomes more muscular and guitar driven in Throw It Back, Wake Up and Wired Wrong. Here the jangly sounds of the early 90s, possibly best compared to current acts like The Shop Window and Lost Ships, are mixed with the sheer guitar lucidity of a yesteryear favourites such as The Milltown Brothers and The Bluetones.

Although this album sees Desario offer more ‘pretty’ than ever before, they are still capable and willing to infuse this with their traditionally more gnarled sound, with Lonely Nights and Evergreen being everything Jetstream Pony and The Wedding Present respectively, whereas lead single Things We Left Behind is heavily reverb soaked, melodic gaze, in the Ride tradition.

Riveting from start to finish, this release could well be the surprise on all the year-end ‘Best Ofs…”. Grab yourself a CD or Vinyl LP.


Friday, July 15, 2022

OUT NOW: Desario 'Signal and Noise' [LP]

For fans of Arctic Monkeys, Asobi Seksu, Catherine Wheel, Citified, Day Wave, The Depreciation Guild, Doves, Echo & The Bunnymen, Film School, Interpol, Jesus & Mary Chain, Lauds, Lush, New Order, The Ocean Blue, Pale Saints, Ride, Tracy Shedd, The Smiths, Summer Set


Thursday, July 14, 2022

Lauds + Mark Burgess Concert Photographs

Thanks again to HeyDay Guitars + Monstercade Bar for hosting Lauds as the opening act for Mark Burgess of The Chameleons UK this past Tuesday! 🖤
[L-R]: Boyce Evans, Holt Evans II, Mark Burgess, Holt Evans III
[L-R]: Holt Evans III, Mark Burgess, Boyce Evans, McKay Glasgow
Lauds live at Monstercade Bar, Winston-Salem NC - Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Mark Burgess live at Monstercade Bar, Winston-Salem NC - Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Mark Burgess live at Monstercade Bar, Winston-Salem NC - Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Desario is back with fourth LP

[Repost from Scene Point Blank; by Loren Green, July 9, 2022]

Desario, a shoegaze band from Sacramento, Ca, will release their fourth album next week, Signal and Noise, courtesy of Fort Lowell Records.

The album officially comes out on Jul 15, 2022 and features dark-tinged indie rock with post-punk influence.

Check out a single here:

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

New album: KITIMOTO || Vintage Smell

[Repost from Add to Wantlist; by Dennis, July 1, 2022]

I’ve been enjoying myself all week with Vintage Smell, the full-length debut album by Phoenix-based indie rock quartet KITIMOTO, but I still can’t quite grasp it. As if you’ve seen a movie that won’t let go, you’re convinced it’s very good and something special, but you’re aware that you did’t understand all the metaphors and references.

Jonathan Marion Douglas (guitars, vocals, keys), Zane Gillum (bass), Cavan Noone (drums, percussion) and Jason Woodbury (guitars, vocals) have known each other for over 15 years, and reportedly the 10 tracks here came slowly but surely into being, took long shaping and refining. It was worth the time and effort. All the songs – there are no weak moments – are bewitching and addictive, color outside the lines of genres and expectations, with intense guitar duels, poetic lyrics and convincing vocals. This is an ultimate example of a record that has to grow, that continues to fascinate, one with a past but for sure also with a future.

Vintage Smell out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Fort Lowell Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Friday, July 1, 2022

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

We Heard Wonders - music review podcast from Scotland

[Repost from We Heard Wonders; by Iain McKinstry & Andrew Hall, June 29, 2022]

Episode Forty Two - New Music! Julia Jacklin! Minami Deutsch! Gorillaz feat. Thundercat! JPW! Alison Cotton! & the VINYL WORD!

On this week’s We Heard Wonders, GORILLAZ join forces with THE THUNDERCATS in the greatest cartoon crossover team-up OF ALL TIME!!! Er, sorry, our mistake - it’s actually Gorillaz featuring elastic-bass-supremo Thundercat...still pretty cool though, right! Elsewhere, singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin returns with something strident; Iain Googles Japanese kosmische-rockers Minami Deutsch with baffling results; Aquarium Drunkard contributor Jason P. Woodbury turns creator of wonderful widescreen music on his project JPW; and experimental folk artist Alison Cotton produces something appealingly eerie. Plus, obligatory Glastonbury chat and the Vinyl Word. 

"The track takes its time and encourages you to lean back & take your time with it, relax into its vibe."

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Phoenix Indie Rock Quartet KITIMOTO Makes Stunning Debut with 'Vintage Smell'

For their debut studio album, Phoenix-based foursome KITIMOTO has made an undeniably grand entrance by blending classic indie rock with inflections of surf, punk and psychedelia on Vintage Smell. 

Within its 10 tracks, Vintage Smell makes short work of revealing a group wise beyond its years. The album boldly covers a lot of ground, showcasing the members’ songwriting chops and highlighting their musical range as veterans of the industry. 

Despite KITIMOTO being a relatively new formation, its members met via the Phoenix DIY art-punk scene more than 15 years ago and have each independently had their hands in on top-tier indie projects for decades. 

With bandleader Jon Douglas (A Technicolor Yawn) at the helm, supported by guitarist Jason P. Woodbury (Aquarium Drunkard), bassist Zane Gillum and drummer Cavan Noone – the quartet took to Oracle Recording at the famed Rancho Linda Vista in late 2020 to lay down the tracks inspired by the archives of frontman Douglas’s songbook. 

Vintage Smell spans a wide range genre-wise, citing inspiration from indie darlings like Parquet Courts, Built to Spill and Pavement, alongside some of the most celebrated names in American rock, like The Velvet Underground.

The album makes a strong entrance, kicking off with the punchy “Bats!” – a rebellious 90s-era punk track that is as fun as it is bold, before cooling it off with the easy, rollicking summer ballad “Mexico.” 

We’re treated to Pavement-esqe fuzzed-out guitars on “Seventy,” while tracks like “Sephamore” easily steer us into psychedelic pop territory by way of the mellotron. 

On “How Do You Keep,” KITIMOTO questions righteousness and morality, repeatedly challenging listeners to self-reflect, while veering into surf rock with its sun-bleached riffs. 

Vintage Sound also provides a nearly picture-perfect indie rock track with the apathy-soaked summer anthem “Time Saved.” In the era of doomscrolling and dissociation, the lyrics are beautifully on-the-nose, calling out a society on the brink of collapse: 

It takes a lot to give a little 
Everyone is dead 
No one is around 
Everyone can see through one another 
I say, that's time saved 

A more fitting title couldn’t exist for an album that so effortlessly melds modern indie music with stylistic callbacks to the eras by which it was inspired. Vintage Smell invokes a particular brand of musical déjà vu – the kind of nostalgic sound that makes you feel as though you might have heard something like it before, despite being an entirely unique experience. 

One can’t help but wonder if the studio location’s rich history affected the album’s outcome, helping to provide the worn-in sound that unifies the tracks into a cohesive work. Like terroir, but for music. Either way, Vintage Smell is the kind of record that makes bands a household name and considering this is their debut, there isn’t a doubt KITIMOTO will be just that. 

Overall rating: 8.5/10 

"Bats!" from the forthcoming album Vintage Smell
Available June 24th