Independent Record Label | Est. 2009
Wilmington, North Carolina



Friday, April 29, 2022

Let's Dance, again!

Did you know that Fort Lowell Records has our very own DJ Dance Night here in Wilmington, North Carolina? Well, we do!  It's called Let's Dance, and we host it at various venues throughout the Port City, but mainly at The Opera Room or Satellite Bar & Lounge; spinning Indie, Alternative, and Underground music on vinyl record... and only vinyl, of course! 🤠

There are Instagram and Twitter accounts to follow where we post songs that we spin at Let's Dance to promote our dance nights.  In addition, there is a Spotify Playlist which compiles those same songs posted or social media into a playlist you can enjoy at home.  The best part is, our Let's Dance Spotify Playlist now exceeds 24-hours of total music, and we will keeping adding more music to the playlist as we continue to promote more events. 📻

Now, regarding you gettin' on' the dance floor, join us tonight -- Friday, April 29th -- for Let's Dance at Satellite Bar & Lounge as we celebrate International Dance Day! 💃🕺

Thursday, April 28, 2022

UNC students and alumni play in local indie rock band

[Repost from The Daily Tar Heel; by Holly Adams, April 26, 2022]

Members of Lauds, an indie-rock band from Wilmington, share a love of music, their hometown and UNC basketball.

When the release show for their  EP "II" was scheduled for the same night as the men's basketball Final Four game between UNC and Duke, lead singer, guitarist and UNC Class of 2011 alumnus McKay Glasgow, said the band was too anxious to watch the game. 

“So, we played the show and immediately sprinted across the street to this shack oyster bar to watch the last 10 minutes of the second half,” lead guitarist and UNC Class of 2021 alumnus of the graduate school Holt Evans III said. “The guys in the band are already some of my best friends and to have that moment with them and watch the game was so much fun– high-fiving each other, screaming.”

With the beat of the drums and the strum of a guitar, the band released their first single in 2019 and plans to return to their Chapel Hill roots. 

Holt Evan III's younger brother, UNC senior Boyce Evans, plays keyboard and third guitar. Bassist Gavin Campbell and drummer Ross Page are also members of the band. 

While subgenres like “dream pop”, “shoegaze post-punk” and “jangle pop” have been used to describe Lauds’ music, they call themselves simply “guitar music,” Holt Evans III said.

Inspired by late 1980s and early 1990s rock from the United Kingdom, as well as Krautrock from the 1970s, Holt Evans III said Laud's sound is similar to bands like My Bloody Valentine and The Cure. 

“(Our sound) is catchy — it doesn’t rock too hard but it finds a nice middle ground in between rock and pop,” Boyce Evans said. 

The band, who released two EPs in the last year, is currently in the works of writing and producing their first studio album. They work with Fort Lowell Records, a Wilmington-based indie-rock record label. 

James Tritten, who owns Fort Lowell records with his wife Tracy, said he started working with Lauds after their song “Don’t Mind” featured on the Fort Lowell produced album called “Grow: A Compilation in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter,” which was released as a 2020 fundraiser. The band has continued to elevate its talent and skills following each release.  

“Everything they ever do – I just think it's been absolutely amazing, just stellar,” he said. “And it just gets better. Every release they put out I'm always taken aback by how wonderful it is.”

The band said they feel connected to Wilmington through music.

“It being a really beautiful place by the ocean really factors into a feeling we put into a lot of our music,” Holt Evans III said. “McKay and I surf a lot. We spend a lot of time on the water, so that’s a really nice place to contemplate life, a lot of our songs are similarly contemplative.”

Glasgow wrote the song “Sandpiper” from their debut EP inspired by walks on his dock in the area where he grew up, and the sounds of sandpiper birds that are native to Wilmington.  

“That song’s sort of about remembering and coming back to a place that you know really well,” Glasgow said. “There's even kind of ambient noise of the dock.”

Outside of music, being current and former UNC students and watching Tar Heel basketball have brought the band even closer. 

“It’s definitely something that unites all of us outside of the music,” Holt Evans III said. “I think that it’s so important for bands to have relationships outside of music and I think that it factors into a sense of kinship and brotherhood.”

Holt Evans III said his dad — Holt Evans II — serves like the band’s dad as well, helping them record in his house with his collection of old-school recording technology.

“My role is just trying to get the best-recorded versions of their songs and occasionally have some input into their arrangements,” Holt II said. “Obviously I'm prejudiced, but I haven't heard anybody around here doing what they're doing.”

Lauds hopes to continue to grow and be able to play at larger venues across the state. 

“I mean, it's an obvious brotherhood between them,” Tritten said. “It's a beautiful thing to watch.”
Lauds is a Wilmington-based indie rock band featuring UNC students and alums. Photo courtesy of Mary Hannah.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Luz de Vida Record Release Party // Fort Lowell Records Showcase

Tucson, Arizona -- Saturday, May 21st -- iHeartRadio and Zia Records presents Luz de Vida: A Benefit Concert for Survivors of Trauma at Hotel Congress; the second official Record Release Party for Luz de Vida II: A Compilation to Benefit Homicide Survivors, featuring a Fort Lowell Records Showcase.

Luz de Vida – Spanish for Light of Life – is an expression of community, love, healing, grace and hope, a positive response from Tucson musicians and national artists. The original Luz de Vida project began in the days after the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting that took the lives of six people and injured 19 others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and shook the Tucson community and nation.

For the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, members of the original Luz de Vida production team partnered with Homicide Survivors, Inc. to release a second compilation record, featuring Tucson and national artists and released on Fort Lowell Records.

Join us Saturday, May 21, 2022 to celebrate the official album release of Luz de Vida II along with Homicide Survivors, Inc. and Fort Lowell Records. The concert will include featured artists from Luz de Vida IITracy Shedd, Soda Sun, and Gabriel Naïm Amor – along with other Fort Lowell Records recording artists such as La Cerca, Young Mothers, and newcomers from Phoenix AZ: KITIMOTO and JPW.

Tracy Shedd; Photo by Scott Madgett
Soda Sun
Gabriel Naïm Amor
La Cerca; Photo by Andrew Berg
Young Mothers
JPW; Photo by Trevor Novatin

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Thank you, Wilmington NC

Friday night’s Record Release Party for This Water is Life, Vol. I with MindsOne and James Sardone was simply amazing! The record is seriously almost SOLD OUT already, so be sure stop by your local record store today here in Wilmington NC to pick up a copy, or CLICK HERE now to have one shipped to you directly; that is if we have any left

Thanks again to everyone involved, WE LOVE YOU!

Friday, April 22, 2022

'This Water Is Life' music event, plus 17 things to do for Wilmington's Earth Day weekend

[Repost from StarNews Online; by John Staton, April 21, 2022]

It seems like the weekends in Wilmington are only getting busier, and with so many worthwhile events, the only bad thing is having to make some tough choices. It's a good problem to have, because the 18 events listed here are only a fraction of what's going on. 

Speaking of tough choices, recently I've been starting off this list each week with a featured event. This week it's an album release show that combines local music, photography and advocacy for the environment. 

'This Water Is Life'

Wilmington's arts community, and its natural beauty, are two of the area's defining qualities, and big reasons why everyone keeps moving here. 

But rarely has a project connected the things that makes Wilmington special, and done it in such a meaningful way, as "This Water Is Life." The new double EP from locally based Fort Lowell Records comes out Friday and is timed to Earth Day. It will be the first in a series of releases that not only highlight Wilmington indie rock and hip-hop musicians, but also provide a platform for two groups fighting to protect Wilmington's environment, specifically its threatened waters: Cape Fear River Watch and Coastal Plain Conservation Group.

On Friday, a release concert for "This Water is Life, Vol. 1" will be held at local hotspot Satellite Bar and Lounge on Greenfield Street. The show will feature longtime Wilmington rock songwriter James Sardone and local hip-hop mainstays MindsOne. Sardone has three songs and MindsOne four on "This Water Is Life," which will be released on vinyl and digitally. 

The project is the brainchild of James Tritten, who runs Fort Lowell and is one of the Wilmington music scene's biggest boosters. He said he got the idea after seeing the photographs of Josh Putnam, one of which Tritten used for the album's cover. The photos capture water within the urban Wilmington landscape while also literally reflecting that landscape.

That duality, or mirroring quality, gave Tritten the idea for a "split" EP that would get new work by area musicians into the world while reminding people of the very real challenges facing local waters, including pollution by PFAS chemicals released into the Cape Fear River by the Chemours company near Fayetteville. 

"In a perfect world there would be four to six of these albums a year," Tritten said, almost like a subscription service people could sign up for. 

Fort Lowell, which Tritten started in Arizona, is an indie rock label with a national roster, so Tritten knew that indie rock, in all its many forms, would be part of the equation. But he also wanted to spotlight the strength and depth of Wilmington's hip-hop scene. 

To kick off the series, Tritten went with two acts who've been sustaining Wilmington music lovers for decades.

MindsOne, which includes lyricists and rappers KON Sci and Tronic and beats by Belgian producer DJ Iron, has been around since the early 2000s. They've released multiple albums that have helped define the sound of Wilmington hip-hop while influencing the current generation of artists. 

Their old-school, "boom-bap" style with conscious lyrics is exemplified by the song "Footprints" from "This Water Is Life," which Joe Latterner, who writes and performs under the name KON Sci, said they wrote specifically for the album. The lyrics dwell on footprints both environmental and metaphorical, and especially the legacy that's left for future generations. 

"Environmental concerns, social concerns, that's always been in our wheelhouse," Latterner said, adding that new songs "Phantasy" and "Why So Serious?" show another side of the group that's more playful. 

They'll be performing all three songs from the new release on Friday (the album also includes a remix of "Footprints") and MindsOne has a full-length album coming out later this year. 

Sharing Friday's bill will be a new band from James Sardone, who was a mainstay of the Wilmington scene in the '90s. His punk band Brickbat toured nationally, opening for acts like Jawbox and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and his country rock outfit The Burnley Brothers were local favorites as well. 

A move to New York in the late '90s had Sardone hitting the big city right when a rockabilly revival was sweeping the nation, and his Jimmy Nations Combo turned heads in the Big Apple, even earning a write up in the Village Voice. 

Returning to Wilmington a decade ago, Sardone started a new band, Loose Jets, whose edgy glam-rock vibe was a regular presence at local clubs.

"I've always kind of like to change my hat" in terms of the music he plays, Sardone said, and the songs on "This Water Is Life" mark new territory for him: tuneful, deceptively simple pop rockers like "Do This Thing" that sound like they were pulled from some forgotten '80s radio playlist. 

"They're straightforward love songs pretty much," Sardone said, that he wrote for his wife, Stella. He said he's got enough material for a full album he hopes to put out soon.

Tritten said one goal of the "This Water Is Life" series — he's got a few more indie rock/hip-hop pairs lined up but doesn't want to say who just yet — is to get artists' work "on vinyl. So many artists stop at the world of digital, and vinyl is a special thing I know I can offer."

Another goal is for the project to be self-sustaining, where one release pays for the next one until there's a whole bunch more Wilmington music out there, not to mention increased awareness of environmental issues that need addressing.

A perhaps unintended benefit? On Friday, Sardone and the artists of MindsOne, who've done so much for their respective scenes, will meet each other and play on the same bill for the first time. 

Details: 7 p.m. Friday, April 22, at Satellite Bar & Lounge, 120 Greenfield St., Wilmington. Free.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

'This Water is Life' Record Release Party

Join us at Satellite Bar & Lounge tomorrow night - April 22nd, Earth Day - for the official Record Release Party of our inaugural release for This Water is Life, featuring MindsOne & DJ Iron + James Sardone.  Both artist will be performing live in concert at the free event, and the music will begin at 7:00pm.  See y'all there, Wilmington, North Carolina!

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Meet the team behind Fort Lowell Records' latest project

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.

Dana Sargent of Cape Fear River Watch and Andy Wood of Coastal Plain Conservation Group will author the liner notes for each edition of This Water is Life; Sargent providing insight as to how human beings are affected by what is happening with the Cape Fear River, while Wood delivers a report on one indigenous animal from the region per release.  

The sustainability of this project has been made possible by sponsorship provided by Gravity RecordsPersephone's Farm, Satellite Bar & LoungeWild Phoenix Salt Cave, as well as Dock Street Printing.

All design elements for each release will highlight the work of local artists: Josh Putnam for the cover art photographs, Ross Langdon Page for the band photographs printed on the back of the vinyl jackets, and Ivanna Knox of Pufferfish Print Shop for the artwork shown on the B-Side label of the vinyl itself - which will be an illustration of the indigenous animal which Coastal Plain Conservation Group writes about in the liner notes for that particular release. 

Dana Sargent
 of Cape Fear River Watch
Andy Wood of Coastal Plain Conservation Group

Gravity Records: [L-R] Chandler, Garret, Rizzy, Matt, and Brady

Joe Hauser of Persephone's Farm

Dusty Ricks (Owner) and Shannon Dunne of Satellite Bar & Lounge

Morgan Roman of Wild Phoenix Salt Cave, and wife Andrea

Josh Putnam

Ross Langdon Page

Ivanna Knox of Pufferfish Print Shop

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Spring singles countdown

[Repost from Poprock Record; by Dennis Pilon, April 19, 2022]

North Carolina’s Tracy Shedd ambles onto centre stage with her single “Going Somewhere,” its laid back feel gaining more urgency in the chorus. Definitely a bit of car-driving, windows-open on a summer day sort of music.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Listen to Dream Pop Ensemble Lauds “II” EP

[Repost from Post-Punk; by Alice Teeple, April 9, 2022]

The old 9 to 5
Who could invent a
Better way to waste a life?

Hailing from the beaches of Wilmington, NC, guitar outfit Lauds are united by a love of the water and chiming hooks. They have released a second EP, entitled II, a sprawling, psychedelic, melodic masterpiece of pulsing indie rock and jangle pop with a motorik edge. It’s out now via Fort Lowell Records.

The bass and drums are given equal footing with the guitars in this collection, which vacillate between moments of chorused-out bliss and searing noise-rock catharsis, peppered with catchy hooks. Lead singer McKay Glasgow beckons the listener to get lost alongside him in the sprawling guitar scapes with his gentle croon.

The quintet composed of McKay Glasgow (lead vocals, guitar), J Holt Evans (vocals, lead guitar), younger brother Boyce Evans (keyboards, third guitar), Gavin Campbell (bass), and Ross Page (drums, vocals) play the bulk of the melodies on the album. They recruited friends Ross Page and Gavin Campbell, who helped steer the arrangements when it came time for recording.

Their lyrics, though sparse, are poetic ruminations on everyday life, from questioning the point of the daily grind (Weekend) to pushing through obstacles in search of an elusive freedom (CeeDee Lamb). They pack a lot of emotional punch in these fleeting moments. Despite the brightness of the melodies, these are songs examining deep-seated angst.

Having become a staple of Wilmington’s thriving guitar-rock scene, the band continues to play regularly in their region and hope to expand down the road, both with touring and in the studio.

“We wanted to challenge ourselves in the studio to be more adventurous with the type of sonic textures we were using to color the songs,” says the band. “All of the tracks are still essentially pop songs built around twin guitar melodies but we wanted to see how we could expand our sound by leaning into things like harmonics, feedback, and expressive solos…in the end I think we arrived at a sound that is darker, leaner, and more reminiscent of our live shows.”

Find Lauds’ II EP Here

Follow Lauds:
Photo by Mary Hannah

Thursday, April 14, 2022

‘Footprints’ by MindsOne & DJ Iron | ‘This Water is Life’ series

[Repost from Psychedelic Baby; Klemen Breznikar, April 6, 2022]

Exclusive track premiere of ‘Footprints’ by MindsOne & DJ Iron, taken from ‘This Water is Life’ series, out April 22, 2022 via Fort Lowell Records.

‘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.

Ever since our forebears crawled up out of the water and drew their first breath, our – which is to say human and animal (and for that matter, plant) – experience has never strayed too far from its life-sustaining force. This water IS life. It will continue to be. But what kind of life? Threats to that water are, in turn, threats to the very life it supports.

Inspired by photography focused on water in urban landscapes against a backdrop of the evolving GenX (PFAS) water pollution problem in the Wilmington, NC / Cape Fear region, ‘This Water is Life’ is a local multimedia, multi-platform project. It takes what Fort Lowell Records does best – put out and promotes killer indie music of varied stripes – and fuses it with photography and other visual arts alongside river and wildlife advocacy. The goal is a virtuous circle contained within an intended series of records. Packaged together, musical and visual artists from the Port City combined with a separate, serialized and locally-specific environmental message gives rise to the future promotion of other local music acts and further advocacy.

‘Volume I’ features MindsOne & DJ Iron and James Sardone (of Brickbat, Burnley Brothers, The Jimmy Nations Combo, Loose Jets).

Innovative lyrics, heart pounding instrumentals, precise cuts, and intense live shows are what MindsOne has been offering their listeners since 2002. In its current iteration for this project, the group consists of KON Sci and Tronic on vocals with Belgian producer DJ Iron reprising his beatmaking role. Their music embodies the spirit of independent hip hop culture and pays homage to those boom bap masters and others who came before.

They have consistently delivered powerful and inspirational music over the years, and have continued to perfect their sound with each project from their debut EP, ‘The Space Time Continuum’ in 2006 to 2016’s collaboration with DJ Iron on the ‘Phaseology’ album.

Pre-order it here!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

HCTF premiere - James Sardone: Do This Thing

[Repost from Here Comes the Flood; Hans Werksman, April 5, 2022]

James Sardone (Brickbat, Burnley Brothers, The Jimmy Nations Combo, Loose Jets) has been part of the indie rock scene for a couple of decades, keeping the DIY flag flying throughout his career. His new song, the rollicking Do This Thing, supports a good cause: keeping tabs on Cape Fear River Basin in North Carolina by Cape Fear River Watch and Coastal Plain Conservation Group. The track will be included on This Water is Life, Vol. I, a split EP, with three Sardone songs taking up on side, and four tracks by hip-hop artist MindsOne and Belgian producer DJ Iron on the other one. It is the meeting of two worlds that worked out quite well.

Do This Thing is released via Fort Lowell Records. Release date: April 8. This Water is Life, Vol. I is available for pre-order here (vinyl - 150 handnumbered copies, digital). The EP will be released on Earth Day (April 22).

Live date:
  • 04/22 Wilmington NC @ Satellite Bar & Lounge (release party - free show)

» James Sardone on Instagram

Friday, April 8, 2022

OUT NOW: MindsOne & DJ Iron "Footprints" + James Sardone "Do This Thing"

The Digital Singles from the inaugural Fort Lowell Records album This Water is Life, Vol. I for both artists MindsOne & DJ Iron plus James Sardone are both available today, April 8th, on all music platforms.  When you pre-order the vinyl or digital album from Bandcamp, you will be able to download and save by singles:
  • MindsOne & DJ Iron "Footprints"
  • James Sardone "Do This Thing"

Tuesday, April 5, 2022


[Repost by Blood Makes Noise; by Sam Lowry, March 31, 2022]

Immediately the band hits you in the face with a Cure meets The Smiths riff but as the vocals pop in it’s more clear that this is very brit rock inspired. It feels like something like Ivy, The Sundays, and mostly mellow stuff that is usually female fronted. More contemporary comparisons would be Soccer Mommy, Swiims, or Phoebe Bridgers. However the reverb washed vocals give it a more goth feel. I also hear quite a bit of classic indie influence especially in the guitar which at times is New Order/Joy Division –ish. This is quite nice and blends a tiny splash of goth with straight forward indie rock/ indie pop. At times you can hear a little bit of dissonant background noise like a splash of My Bloody Valentine or Mission of Burma was thrown in. Track 3 is titled CeeDee Lamb and I had to wonder, are these guys football fans? Dallas Cowboy fans? Ok, they lose some points with me for liking the Cowboys but I digress. In all a really solid EP that I suppose the new genre classification for is “dream pop” but if you are older than 25 you’ll get all the references and what these guys are about.