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Fort Frances at The Wax
April 24, 2016 @ 12:00 am - 2:00 am
8:00 PM (doors open at 7:30)$15 in advance / $18 at the door
No One Needs to Know Our Name seems like an unlikely statement for an independent band in 2015, but its sentiment is neither ironic nor defeatist. It’s more of a personal manifesto for Chicago-based Fort Frances. In an age of hyper-connectivity and public oversharing, frontman and chief lyricist, David McMillin, says, “This is a reminder that we are all allowed to shut out the noise.”
On their new release, producer Sam Kassirer pushed the band well beyond their Americana roots into louder territory and unlocked the potential that has been steadily building inside the band over the past two years. From the dueling rhythm parts fighting through “Days Get Heavy” to the horn section leading the swing of “Anonymous” to the Spoon-esque stomping of “Year of Gold”, this is Fort Frances crossing into unfamiliar territory. As the arrangements help the band pursue a bold new direction, McMillin’s lyrics find their footing in the uncertain enclave between the naiveté of young adulthood and domestic complacency.
“The past will always be a dear friend even when you do your best to shed your skin,” McMillin sings on “Best of Luck.” “Your mind takes pictures of everywhere you’ve been, so everything that’s lost can be found again.”
The lyric is a fitting summary of the band’s attempt to run away. Despite their efforts to shed the realities of an exit from their twenty-somethings, it’s clear that the disappearing act has helped them reclaim their grasp of what’s cycled through the minds of every generation: restlessness, romanticism and a longing to discover something more than road standing directly in front of them.
Now, as the band prepares to release No One Needs to Know Our Name, that prediction appears to be true. While no one may need to know Fort Frances, it’s safe to say they’ll want to.