Fairmont, from Northern New Jersey, is one of the few bands that can boast that they’ve been around for almost 2 decades, releasing 10 LP’s, a bunch of EP’s & compilation tracks all while singer/songwriter Neil Sabatino started a successful indie rock label, Mint 400 Records. In addition the band has become fully self sufficient, engineering, producing, mixing and mastering their last 5 records.
This is the 6th studio album with Christian Kisala, but his first on drums while long time drummer Andy Applegate is recuperating from some health problems. Along with guitarist Matt Cheplic (The Bitter Chills) and bassist Mike Burns (C’est La Vie) the band is joined by newest member Lisa Grabinski (Dharma Plums) on keyboards and backing vocals.
Fairmont follows up their previous record A Spring Widow with a step in a different direction musically, almost lighter and more pop at times than previous efforts but with sharp and biting lyrics that Fairmont has become known for. Special guests, Mint 400 Artist Shithead’s Rainbow appear on the bright and cheery sounding “Sword Of Damocles” creating a screamy sing along with great pop aesthetics. Overall the album has a different sound than previous albums with Kisala’s move to drums instead of his usual vibraphone, marimba, glockenspiel, organ, keyboard roll and this perhaps is the biggest musical difference. However because Andy Applegate, original drummer of the band since 2003 has had such a strong influence over the bands overall sound, he gave input and helped shape the way the rhythm section attacked this record.
“One of New Jersey’s most consistent bands adds another fine entry to their already-formidable catalogue. Buoyed by lead single ‘Fifteen Years,’ Fairmont hits the mark yet again, proving that as he enters his third decade in music, bandleader Neil Sabatino still has plenty left to say. And it’d be worth it to you to listen up!” - Brian Erickson host of “One More”
"It's been a pleasure watching Fairmont evolve from a tentative solo project for guitarist-turned-singer Neil Sabatino to one of New Jersey's most assured indie-pop combos. This latest release’s dalliance with drum machines and synths adds a cutting edge modernity to the mix, along with a surf 'n' spy instrumental and a Velvets cover. " - Jim Testa, Jersey Beat
“Behind some sweet, breezy guitar and smooth synth the song sounds light and amiable...Even when the music is airy and bright Fairmont sometimes explores the darker of human traits.” - Ed Magdziak / You Don’t Know Jersey
“The riff on 15 Years is the type of melody any great songwriter hopes to come up with. 15 Years stands up next to any song, at any level of notoriety. Fantastic.” - Adam Bird of aBIRD
“The entire album feels like a seasoned and competent exploration of indie rock songwriting, without the pretentious choices that plague modern overproduction. Solid architectural songwriting layered well...” - Nicholas Maratta of Shithead’s Rainbow
“Another solid Fairmont album full of quirky hooks and dynamic orchestrations.” - AJ Tobey / Bank Robber Music
RIYL: Say Hi, Ben Gibbard, Guided By Voices, Destroyer
TRY: #1, 2, 6, 7
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