Independent Record Label | Est. 2009
Wilmington, North Carolina



Monday, January 30, 2023

Lauds - 'Imitation Life' (Fort Lowell Records)

[Repost from DAGGER ZINE; by Tim Hinely, January 23, 2023]

This Wilmington, NC bunch began releasing singles in 2019, but I didn’t get hip to them until late last year with their 2nd EP, entitled II (the EP before that was S/T). Here comes the LP (of the 10 songs 4 are from the EPs but that’s ok, probably new to some of you, I’m guessing).

They have a really nice, dreamy, crystalline sound. I’m hearing The Cure at their poppiest as well as For Against and even bits of REM in those propulsive rhythms. Vocalist James McKay Glasgow has the smoothest, most inviting set of pipes this side of Martin Courtney and the guitarist(s) know how to weave splendor and mystery.

Cuts like “Parallel,” “24,” “Don’t Mind,” “Rust” and “Somehow” are just a few of the jewels on here. These guys are definitely on to something and who knows, maybe they’ll make a move to a bigger city or stay put in N.C. Time will tell, but Imitation Life is surely terrific.

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