Photo By Kyle Dean Reinford
Of the masses of bands to enter CMJ, only a few emerge unscathed as well as revered by the critical horde. A few were expected (Zola Jesus, etc.) but infinitely more pleasant are the unmitigated specks that somehow turn into audible buzz seemingly overnight. Enter Fort Lean
, a five-piece from New York who caught the attention of, among others, The New York Times
. The band is a self-described place you can go where "the weather is perfect all the time." There isn't a much better way to describe it.
Turns out the band is fronted by Keenan Mitchell, who many Launch Pad veterans might recognize as the drummer for Slam Donahue
. Little did we know Mitchell had a stellar voice of his own, and his project Fort Lean, with its take on anthemic pop rock and casual, washed-out vocals that sound more optimistic than lazy. It's almost nuclear in levels of bliss. It's inspiring.
Grab their entire four-track EP for free (while you still can), especially the incredible, uplifting "Beach Holiday", a song that feels woefully misplaced relegated to a hole in Williamsburg.