Independent Record Label | Est. 2009
Wilmington, North Carolina



Wednesday, November 30, 2022

New Trucker Hats are available!



Brand New Music by Lauds + Color Temperature

Visit these websites  Rock & Roll GlobeBig Takeover, and Here Comes the Flood  to hear the latest music by both Lauds and Color Temperature, only available through these websites for the next few weeks until the official release dates for each record:

Lauds "Somewhere"

Color Temperature "The River"

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

JPW, now on Yellow Vinyl!

Phoenix, Arizona's own Jason P. Woodbury performs music under the moniker JPW.  His debut album Something Happening / Always Happening sold out of its first pressing before it was ever released to the public.  So, we placed an order for a second pressing of this masterpiece, but this time on YELLOW VINYL, and they are here ready to ship out, just in time for the holidays!

"It’s a collection of songs you might hear on the radio after a cosmic camping trip, familiar but far off. Songs for stepping out of the spaceship to crack a cold one on a blurry summer day, taking a moment to enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass." ~ Aquarium Drunkard

"Plays like a desert broadcast from the past where remnants of space-age pop mingle with an undeniably easy (and breezy) feeling you might've found out Topanga in 1972." ~ MTV News

"A cosmic rock roadtrip." ~ PopMatters

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Premiere: inifinitikiss’ “in the same vibration that pothos green grows” (and Fort Lowell Records interview!)

[Repost from Independent Clauses; by Stephen Carradini, November 10, 2022]

In 2014, Fort Lowell Records took a leap of faith and asked me to do something that I had never done before in 12 years of being a blog: premiere a record. (I still have my vinyl copy of the Good Graces’ Close to the Sun framed and hanging on my wall to mark the momentous occasion.)

When I dramatically changed the genres I review and listen to in 2018, I noted that “I’ll probably be a pretty bad premiere partner for the near future, as I don’t quite know how to talk about the stuff I’m geeking out on yet.” So it’s with astonishment and gratitude that I present to you one of the first ambient premieres I’ve ever done–for none other than Fort Lowell Records.
“in the same vibration that pothos green grows” is the first single from infinitikiss‘ ambient music (yes, it’s really called that–I can’t make up this amount of serendipity).

The track itself is an expansive piece drawing on the subtle tensions between a roughed-up arpeggiator pattern and the round tones of a bright acoustic guitar. The programmed and gently distorted synth puts forward pressure on the track; the lazy, expansive, elegant acoustic guitar notes slow the track down. The space between those motions is the heart of the song. Even with the texturing on the arpeggiator, the piece is warm and sunny, evoking hammocking on back porches and laying in summery fields.

If the song above piques your interest, the album will be pressed on chartreuse green translucent vinyl via Fort Lowell: you can order it here. (Look at that snazzy mock-up! You know you want one.) The album releases February 17, 2023.

And while, usually, my premieres would stop there, this one was too astonishing to let go at just that. So I took it upon myself to talk with James Tritten, the label head of Fort Lowell records. I wanted to know: how did y’all end up listening to ambient too? And how did you come across infinitikiss? James was so gracious that he not only gave me answers to those questions, but he made a Spotify playlist of his favorite ambient tracks. (The interview has been condensed for clarity and length.)

Stephen (IC): infinitikiss is an ambient record. How did that come about, and how did you get involved in ambient?

James Tritten (JT): It starts with The Band and the Beat [ed: James and his wife Tracy Shedd’s electronic duo. We’ve covered them too.] So basically, Nic Jenkins is infinitikiss. We met him when we were living in Raleigh, around the time we were touring around the region. We were booking a leg all the way through Florida and back, and I just picked up his name between the Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina.

He lived between the two cities, and so I reached out to him. And we ended up playing a couple of shows with Nic. Nic and Tracy and I, but specifically Nic and Tracy, really, really hit it off. Like, they were brother and sister immediately. They were just kindred spirits.

I think it was like the first night we played with him, it was the end of the set. She got him after the show and she’s like, Nic, I wanna record a record with you. And that would’ve been probably 2015 or 2016. So then fast forward that conversation: when we decided that we were gonna record another Tracy Shedd record, Nic was it. If you look at the credits on The Carolinas record, it’s Tracy, me and Nic Jenkins.

So, Tracy and I took a little trip across the US this last May and we spent time with Nic. He’s now in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We got there, we spent a couple of days with him, which was beautiful. Somewhere in that conversation I must have spoken about the first ambient record that Fort Lowell had the privilege to release, and that’s the La Cerca record: A Nice Sweet Getaway. That came out in 2020. I remember recommending it to Nic at some point. It was later that he made a note [on Instagram] like, “wrapping up an ambient record,” and then I reached out to him then to say, “Well, hey, could I hear it?” That’s all it was. Could I hear it?

So we, Tracy and I, we just fell in love with it within–I don’t even think I was halfway through the record yet, and I was already like texting him, “Hey, can we talk about putting this out?”

This is a true statement when I say that I literally start every Saturday and Sunday listening to that La Cerca record. And we’ve been doing it for two years now. And the minute I got Nic’s record, it’s now both records. They’re just both of ’em side by side. It’s just such a beautiful way to start a day. It’s so just peaceful and it just, it just brings you into the day.

IC: So, tell me about this playlist!

JT: I literally spent my entire weekend making this playlist. I’m so excited. I’m really proud of it.

Ambient music starts with that, at my core, I’m a shoegazer. Tracy and I, we grew up with shoegaze. Like we were going to the club when it was like, “Here, let me introduce you to a band called My Bloody Valentine. You know, they just put out an EP.” And it’s really weird. It’s really noisy, you know?

So as a shoegazer, the goal was always to just get your guitar to sustain as long as it could. You know, one strum and then just this ever-sustained echo or whatever it was–reverb, whatever. This would’ve been like ’92, maybe ’93. I had four Roland Space Echoes. Four. Not one. Four.

IC: Just in case.

JT: No, I played through every one of them! That’s how obsessed I was with sustaining the guitar. Four of them. And I’d even loop ’em. I knew how to cover the erase head and you can create loops out of it and stuff. So I just became obsessed with these things. They were very much part of my instrumentation, as much as the guitar was. Well that led me to Brian Eno’s Discreet Music. So it’ll be the first song on the playlist. In my opinion, that is just the utmost epitome of ambient music.

And then I purposely, you know, I gave you La Cerca right following that because I just, I think it is on par with what Brian Eno does. And I know that’s a bold ass statement to say.

IC: Hey, you know, shoot your shot!

JT: I think it’s great. These examples on the front end that are these shoegaze bands that we were listening to. I mean, at the end of the day, ambient music is shoegaze minus the rhythm section. I mean, really! It’s true!

So that is where I just started aggressively collecting music like that. My dad ended up getting me introduced to bands like Tangerine Dream and Synergy, some of that older stuff, you know, the Barry Cleveland I’ve got there. Harold Budd, you know Harold Budd. Obviously you can kind of tie that into Brian Eno. But you can quickly see how it goes from this world of shoegaze stuff into this world of like old seventies-ish electronic music.

IC: I see … I love Johan Johansson. I see that on here. I love Spiritualized, Squarepusher, AphexTwin. American Analog Set. I love that you have–this is the more guitar-oriented ambient, right? The way I came into ambient is the opposite direction from the more synthesizer-heavy stuff into quieter and quieter and quieter and quieter until I ended up at ambient.

This is really fascinating for me. It will be really exciting for me because a lot of these were not in the path that I took to get to Brian Eno and then points beyond.

JT: I appreciate that actually, because I purposefully did that. I felt like, “I really need to tell my story with ambient music.” And I’m coming at it from a guitarist point of view. That’s the truth. You never would associate a band like American Analog Set with the word ambient.

IC: Yeah. But you put it in there and it makes sense.

JT: Yep. Well, I don’t know if you’re familiar with that track and what it is specifically. It was part of the Darla Records Bliss Out series. The Windy and Carl track came from the same exact series. It was a series of 12 inch EPs that they did. And my understanding is that that is what they were pushing the artist to do. I don’t know if the word ambient was being directly given to them. But that American Analog Set 12-inch is nothing like any of the albums. It’s completely different.

And so that song, in my opinion, it qualifies to a degree of ambient. There’s a couple of tracks in there where’s there’s a bit of a beat or rhythm that kind of comes in, enough that someone may challenge it.

IC: I think that’s part of it. I mean, ambient doesn’t have to be all clouds of synthesizers, right?

Thank you for talking with me about this “new” fascination that I have that goes back a decade, but is still basically new because we’ve only been writing about it for short period of time. I’m looking forward to more, more ambient records from y’all!

JT: I thank you even more for the opportunity to help promote the record and get it out. It really does mean a lot. —Stephen Carradini

James Tritten of Fort Lowell Records

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

'The Devil's Stomping Ground' movie features Fort Lowell Records artists

This Wednesday, November 16th, Jonathan Landau's movie The Devil's Stomping Ground will have its world premiere at the 28th Annual Cucalorus Film Festival here in Wilmington, North Carolina.  This independent film features music from Fort Lowell Records' own Sean Thomas Gerard, The Majestic Twelve, Tracy Shedd, and Kim Ware and the Good Graces.

The premiere will be held at Thalian Hall and starts at 7:00pm.  You can buy tickets here.

There will be an after party for The Devil's Stomping Ground, which will be held at Hi-Wire Brewing, and will include live musical performances from Sean Thomas Gerard, The Majestic Twelve, and Kim Ware, starting at 9:00pm following the movie premiere.

Watch the Trailer here:

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Highly Recommended w/ JPW

[Repost from HI54; by Jeremy Sroka, November 3, 2022]

* Providing the A's to the 5 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Q's today is JPW — a creator out of the Sonoran Desert who recently dropped the excellent Something Happening / Always Happening on Fort Lowell Records, the first pressing of which has already sold out, but you can now get in on the 2nd-pressing on yellow vinyl (and you can catch the track ‘Wealth of the Canyon’ on the HI54 Mix CD ‘420 ALL DAY’) // JPW photo by Sam Means

As a lifelong Star Trek fan, I was chuffed when psychedelic instrumentalist Frank Maston included a Trek song, “Beyond Antares,” in his recent Aquarium Drunkard Lagniappe Session.

Written by Wilbur Hatch and featuring lyrics written by Trek’s “other Gene,” showrunner Gene Coon—whose progressive beliefs majorly influenced the franchise—Maston takes the “23rd century love song” in a library music direction, evoking the synthed out sound of vintage Italian films. Here’s hoping he does a whole album of Trek tunes, I’d be way into it.

Gone way before its time after only two fantastic seasons, Lodge 49 was a great show about the persistence of magic and meaning set against a backdrop of Southern California mundanity.
Part hermetic/alchemical rabbit hole, part The Big Lebowski, part Office Space, it’s ultimately a show about the power of community and the sacred nature of connectedness. It’s deeply funny but also touching, grounded in blue collar realites but given over to magical realism, and the cast is fantastic. Its golden hour vibe and surf and psych-pop soundtrack was a major influence on Something Happening/Always Happening.  
A Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin. This collection of short stories is tough and terse, which makes the sporadic bursts of tenderness that much more moving. Berlin’s sentences are usually short. She leaves plenty unsaid, which allows more space to wander into these semi-autobiographical tales from the deserts of Mexico, the southwestern US, and Chile.
She’s got one story included in here, “My Jockey,” about tending to a wounded jockey in an emergency room, that only takes one and a half pages to paint the most vivid, human scene. 
I probably laugh at something @DRIL posts on Twitter once a day. I guess you can find out who @DRIL actually is if you look, but I’ve never had any interest in knowing the IRL person behind the account. I prefer to only engage with the disembodied prophetic and puerile digital cypher who appears in my feed.
Rather than screenshot a favorite, here’s a picture of my copy of Dril Official “Mr. Ten Years” Anniversary Collection, which is both 1) the only physical book collection of tweets that has ever needed to exist and 2) going to come in handy if the servers really do melt away someday.
I’ve been playing around with that weird state right before I wake up in the morning, when I start stirring and coming out of deep sleep. I’ll focus on feelings of universal wholeness or “imagine” the sensation of a enveloping cosmic love. These moments feel gentle and comforting in general, just kind of nice zones to float through and exist in, but a few have taken on an ecstatic quality. It makes for a nice way to begin a day.  
Of course, there are lots of mornings where I hit snooze two or three times too, which can be very nice too.
OK folks, there you have it. Things that JPW thinks you should consider incorporating into your day/life. Before you log off and go get ready to wake up different in the mornings, make sure to follow JPW on the Instagram / Twitter and then also give ‘Wealth of the Canyon’ a listen below…

…and if you like what you’re hearing, go do some further jpw-flavoured audio exploring over on the Bandcamp / Spotify.

Friday, November 11, 2022

OUT NOW: infinitikiss "in the same vibration that pothos green grows" [Digital Single]

The first track from the highly anticipated new album  ambient music  by Albuquerque, New Mexico's experimental artist  infinitikiss  is officially out today on all digital music platforms.  The track is specifically tuned to the Heart Chakra, so please enjoy.  The release date for ambient music is set for March 3, 2023 and you can reserve your copy of the album now.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Grooves & Cuts

[Repost from Americana Highways; by John Apice, November 2, 2022]

Kim Ware & The Good Graces – Ready

Sometimes I don’t know if I’m complimenting an artist when I say they sound popish-60s. But that was a glorious time. Hit singles were always melodic, tight, ingenious & catchy. That’s what Kim Ware & The Good Graces’ new CD Ready provides on their September release on (Potluck (CD) / Fort Lowell Records (Digital).

The opener “capital R” is soaked in an expressive pop melody. To me it’s attractive. It’s done well. The air around it is almost like many of the classic girl groups of that era: The Shangri-Las, The Toys & Dixie-Cups if not Marcie Blaine’s little classic “Bobby’s Girl,” & Robin Ward’s unforgettable “Wonderful Summer.” Its sweetness mixed with melancholy. Not easy to do. There’s a girl-group toughness to her vocalizing that’s vulnerable & charming.

It doesn’t sound retro or nostalgic – just a vintage style refreshed, filled with high-octane originality & relatable. “I don’t want to be here, but you’re so inviting…” is so cool. The clean chiming guitars& Kim’s vocal is pure adolescent glee.

The Kim Ware original songs were produced by Jerry Kee (multi-instrumentalist) & the North Carolina recording features Kim (acoustic & electric guitar/lead vocals/whistling), Wyatt Espalin (fiddle on “Palisade Peaches”) & Carrie Shull (oboe on “Ready,” & “So Many Questions”).

There are 13 cuts & that at times Kim starts to sing with a more old-timey country vocal, but she does it with such a reliable sound that it will bring a smile (“Bird In One Hand”). The variety in the tunes is solid without losing focus. I can’t criticize Kim’s moments of humor as being a novelty song, but she does lighten up the repertoire on occasion. There are enough well-developed songs to support the delicate ambiance of the set.

Highlights — “capital R,” “Bird In One Hand,” “Stopped Making Plans,” “Spider Lily Two,” “Odds & Evens,” “Nightmarish,”

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Bandcamping :: Autumn 2022

[Repost from Aquarium Drunkard; by Tyler Wilcox, November 3, 2022]

JPWSomething Happening / Always Happening

Not only is Jason P. Woodbury a great writer/editor /podcaster/dude (you know his work on this very website as well as plenty of other spots), it seems that he’s also a great musician/songwriter. Go figure! Jason’s debut under the JPW moniker is a start-to-finish beauty, like Cass McCombs and JJ Cale meeting up in the Sonoran Desert at sunset for some hazy, sunbaked jams. Drum machines tick, guitars glisten, vocals drift, time stops. Very happening!

Monday, November 7, 2022

Stay tuned...

This Thursday, November 10th, our friends at Independent Clauses will host an exclusive premiere for infinitikiss "in the same vibration that pothos green grows the first single from the album, titled ambient music by infinitikiss, due out February 17, 2023.  For fans of William Basinski, La Cerca "A Nice Sweet Getaway", and Stars of the Lid.


infinitikiss; Photo by Kati Baldwinin

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Lauds, pictured here with 'Imitation Life' debut album Producer: Holt Evans II


[L-R] Gavin Campbell, Boyce Evans, Holt Evans II, J. Holt Evans III, McKay Glasgow

Friday, November 4, 2022

OUT NOW: Haji P. "So Regular" ft. DJ MF Shalem

The Digital Single from the second release of the Fort Lowell Records' series This Water is Life is out today on all digital music platforms by hip-hop artist Haji P.; who is featured on Side-A of the record, alongside indie rockers Color Temperature on Side-B.

This Water is Life is in partnership with Cape Fear River Watch and Coastal Plain Conservation Group, made possible by Dock Street PrintingGravity RecordsPersephone's FarmSatellite Bar & Loungeand Wild Phoenix Salt Cave, and features artwork + photographs provided by Josh PutnamRoss Langdon Pageand Pufferfish Print Shop

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Geared Up: Lauds Guitarist J. Holt Evans III Discusses His ProCo Rat 2 Distortion Pedal

[Repost from V13; by Christopher Gonda, October 28, 2022]

Since we’re living in a rather introspective era of modern human history, it would make sense that much of our music is likewise somewhat reflective. Lauds are excitedly wrapping up work on their debut full-length record, Imitation Life, right now, with a release date set for January 20th, 2023, via Fort Lowell Records. Featuring ten brand new tracks, the lyrics are thoughtful and pensive, with lyrics that are anxious about finding any tiny part of contentment in life. Based in Wilmington, North Carolina, the band represents the sounds of their surroundings, combining together a post-modern surf rock sound that goes well beyond the constraints of that genre.

Formed a few years ago, band leaders and songwriters J. Holt Evans III and McKay Glasgow met by chance in the home studio of Evans’ father, Plugpoint Studios. Glasgow was working on some demos when he recorded with his folk band, and Evans quickly got involved. The two began sharing demos of material Glasgow felt would not fit in with his folk group, and soon an enriching indie rock collaboration was born.

For our latest Geared Up interview, we recently spoke with J. Holt Evans III to discuss his favourite studio and stage gear, including the ProCo Rat 2 fuzz/distortion pedal.

What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?

J. Holt Evans III: “It’s hard to limit myself to one piece… I’m not a gearhead per se, but I’d say I know what I like and know just enough to be dangerous to get sounds I am happy with and that feel inspiring to me. McKay and I want to make wavy guitar pop like our heroes and we use a lot of the typical gear commonly associated with dream pop/shoegaze music to achieve our sound: Fender JazzmasterRoland JC AmpsElectroHarmonix Memory Man, etc.

“I think the biggest piece of gear currently inspiring me is my ProCo Rat 2 fuzz/distortion pedal. I used to use it almost exclusively for solos, but it’s so versatile and sounds so good on top of the big delay, reverb, and chorus that I always run that I keep finding new excuses to use it. It has definitely shaped our songwriting on the record and pushed us in a noisier direction as a band which is exciting for me.”

How did you come to possess this pedal? Vintage shop, regular shop, borrowed money, gifted. Give us the details…

“I’m fortunate to have a really supportive dad who dabbles as a recording engineer. He is a MAJOR gearhead, and he gave me my Rat as a Christmas gift. It’s really fun we’re always giving each other gear for birthdays, holidays, etc., and it gives us both an excuse to try out new things.”

What made you choose this pedal, and were there any close seconds or alternates?

“I had been searching for a distortion pedal for a long time and tried using tube screamers and a Xotic SL drive but was never able to get them dialed in the way I wanted. My goal with any kind of fuzz or distortion is to be able to just add it to the effects that I’m already using live without it sounding like mush. The tube screamer is a classic pedal, but it was just tough for me to get a handle on in terms of setting it up to feedback when I stepped on it but not be too much.”

What about this particular pedal makes it so important to you?

“I think the versatility and the simplicity of the RAT are just incredible. Just messing with the filter knob can get you anywhere from biting, spiky fuzz to a kind of ‘singy’ sound. Live, since our band mainly plays small clubs where my amp might not even necessarily be mic’d, it’s really easy to adjust on the fly with my feet based on what I’m hearing, which is also a huge plus. That pedal also has a pretty cool legacy as well of being used by great punk and noise bands which is cool as well. My pedalboard with my black ProCo RAT 2 (center with blue tape).”

Did you use this pedal during the recording of Imitation of Life? If so, please elaborate on how and for what parts.

“It’s all over the album. You can hear that weird kind of ‘singy’ setting that I mentioned above on the solo for ‘Misplace a Night.’ Another theme of us wanting to evolve our sound for the record was looking for ways to package noisy, distorted passages into the context of music that is essentially guitar-pop. You can hear me trying to go for a more unhinged sound on the solo of ‘CeeDee Lamb.’

“Part of my inspiration to get a RAT was that band METZ, who I think use it as their main distortion/fuzz. I love the way you can clearly hear their guitar player stepping on it, and it immediately just lets out like a squall of feedback. I don’t think we get quite that extreme on the record, but the influence is definitely there on the new songs.”

Do you have a special way that you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in a live setting, or is it more just plug-and-play?

“Live, I just use the same setup I do with my pedalboard as I do to record, so it is plug-in and play in a way. The guitar sound is really important to me, and in regards to wanting our band to have a cohesive sound, so when we first started playing shows, I used to get really stressed about nailing my tone perfectly but have done a complete 180 since then, thankfully. I have everything marked out how I want it on my amp and my board and now I just make sure I’m in the ballpark before we start playing and try to have fun with it.

“I’ve gotten a lot better at adjusting stuff with my feet as needed mid-song as well (laughs). My Fender Princeton Reverb II with my little setting hieroglyphics written on tape.”

We know you love this pedal, but are there any major cons? (Ok, now you can also list the pros.)

“I think just playing noisy effects heavy lead guitar can be frustrating at times due to the fact that your gear has to be working in order to get the sound you want live. There are times where I definitely wish we made Oasis-style music where you just plug into a distorted amp and play. Not to be cheesy, but I do feel like chorus, reverb, and echo are part of the building blocks of how I am able to say something authentic musically with the guitar.

“I’m not a technical player at all: I hear parts in my head with those textures already woven into them, and so it just feels natural to play them that way. I always joke that my dad played the first two U2 records too many times in the car growing up and created a monster.”

If you could or wanted to (maybe you don’t at all, and that’s cool), what would you tweak or mod on the pedal?

“Always feel like I don’t even know what I don’t know regarding gear, so modding is out of the question for me at this point (laughs).”

Time for some fun. Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.

“There are so many. Aside from the usual bad cable completely cutting my volume mid-song, one that stands out to me was when my band and I were doing a lot of guitar switching mid-set, I always had to remember to adjust my input volume on my echo pedal to boost my overall sound, because my other guitar I played had really low volume pickups. Lauds played a set at Gravity Records once in Wilmington, where I switched guitars and completely forgot about adjusting the input. Then I spent an entire song like taking my pedal board apart onstage, gave up, and then just stood there until I remembered what I needed to do. Was brutal, but I feel like it happens to every guitar player that’s playing through a ton of effects."

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

After many years in the music industry, Jason P. Woodbury puts out 2 albums of his own

[Repost from KJZZ; by Lauren Gilger, October 27, 2022]

Jason P. Woodbury has spent years working on all sides of the music industry in Arizona. Today, he’s the creative director at Hello Merch and host of the Transmissions podcast for online music magazine Aquarium Drunkard.

But in all that time, he’s never released an album of his own. Well, this year, he’s released two: a solo record and one with his band, Kitimoto.

The solo project is called JPW, the album, “Something Happening/Always Happening.” It has echoes of everything from Western guitars to shoegaze indie rock.

And in a conversation with The Show, he said as the pandemic raged on, the songs poured out of him.