Fort Vine Album Review

By: Joe Siess

I’ve never been an Indie/Rock kind of guy to tell you the truth. I’ve always gravitated towards the old music. Maybe I have an old soul. I listen to a lot of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Doors, Janis Joplin. All the crazy dead people that self-annihilated in the 70’s because the frequency was up too high.

Listening to Fort Vine’s debut album entitled One in the Same, and checking out their stuff online, I came to the conclusion that Nyna Nelson needs to do way more songs. Nelson is beautiful and sings great and her sound is her own. The Fort Vine song that impressed me the most was actually the track she sings the most on, Two by Two, which I had to dig up off of the Sound Cloud to hear.

She’s not getting nearly enough exposure on the album as she should and I hope that changes. I really do. Don’t get me wrong. The band as a whole has its own style and balance that definitely works. The lead singer possesses a distinct allure that comfortably ruffles a Surrealistic Pillow with a sound that is vaguely reminiscent of MGMT and Foster the People. Which I consider a good thing.

For starters, Late at Night is definitely their best track. It’s lofty. The lyrics are abstract and the sound is upbeat. I found that listening to the studio version of the song is a markedly different experience compared to watching the Youtube video of them performing the same song live on stage at the Mercury Lounge. On Youtube I get a sense of a group of people smothered by reality. Almost seeming to choke on it. A sobering first impression. I get the sense that these people on that stage are palpably concerned about the future.

But then who isn’t concerned about the future? Or I could just be spouting poppycock. I don’t really know.

Then the thing really gets going, and the sudden breach of energy that breaks through sends a jolt to the gut. The way the song builds up, sails through and breaks into the gurgling surf is rather intriguing. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the song has good bones. It has structure.

For me, Late at Night is essentially an ode to budding youth. Maybe it’s about living life to its fullest. Seizing the night. Do it. “It’s late at night. Do you wanna stay up?”

The way the course rises to become more of a statement as opposed to a question gives me a sense of, ‘I wanna stay up. I want to dance. And live. And drink. And sweat in the summer heat with beautiful people, music and love and liquor and freedom and just be young and beautiful and healthy because right NOW we are in bloom and that’s all that we should worry about now because it’s all over real quick.’ Yes.

I mean the sound is right on. It has feeling. It’s Lofty. Upbeat. A positive message tethered to something dreamy and earthy that makes me want to go outside without a shirt and lay under a tree. Like a Tribe gets refreshingly wild, and I dig the spacey vibe they’ve got going on with Sails. The only critique I might really have is that I feel like they could use more drugs. Which isn’t really a critique at all if you really think about it. No sir. But hey. It doesn’t matter what I think. I have no place telling other people how to live their lives ho ho.

The drugs couldn’t hurt though. Maybe they’d just make everything sound a bit weirder, but like I said. Can’t hurt.

Bottom line here is I like Fort Vine a lot. As somebody who doesn’t listen to much indie music, I listened to Fort Vine’s album several times to get a sense of who they are. And I can totally say I thoroughly enjoyed going on their musical journey. Or coming up into their musical “tree fort”, if we’re going to look at it that way. I bet these guys throw a wicked tree fort party.