The five gentlemen who bring the Fort to life met a decade ago at the famously freewheeling site of institutional discovery called Wesleyan University. Jake, Sam and Zach formed a band on the first day of class and were joined a few years later by Keenan and Will. The “P.C.U.” school’s hyper-social climate and bevy of battling bands set the tone for the real world beyond its progressive quad. After graduating, the group’s members relocated to New York to start fresh, playing music in other outfits and holding down jobs. A few years later the quintet reconvened as Fort Lean.
“It’s a warped normalcy,” says Keenan. “There are elements in our music that you might think you’ve heard before but they translate to something different when the parts come together.” Layers of sound interweave, blending the familiar and unfamiliar. In their words, it’s like a bootleg vacation, the idea of an escape that is compromised or somehow undercut; a kid on holiday with his parents, free but for the hotel walls.
Fort Lean released two early EPs, and have played shows with HAIM, Future Islands, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Their debut LP Quiet Day comes out June 2nd on Ooh La La Records. T
“What we’re trying to explore sonically is something true to life, where there are moments of pleasure and peace that coexist with moments of surprise and chaos, ” says Zach. “It’s aspirational,” says Keenan. “We’re trying to build a world.”