ALBUM REVIEW: Fortunaut “Press Up Off the Earth”


Fortunaut is the moniker of Brooklyn-based musician Ryan Kershaw – joined with an ensemble of his best friends and finest music makers: Robin Buyer, Erik Caldarone, Zack Trahan, and Nick Pope. They recently released their debut LP Press Up Off the Earth July 11, 2015.

Once upon a time Fortunaut was just Kershaw in his Boston bedroom, but now the band spend their time between Brooklyn and Boston. Press Up Off the Earth was composed in four weeks and recorded live in one day at Virtue and Vice Studios in Brooklyn. 

My intital listening to Press Up Off the Earth took place alone, sitting cross-legged on my bed with a cup of sleepy tea in one hand and additional herbal relaxation in the other. The opening title track sets the atmosphere, warming you up to what is a thoughtful and cohesive listening experience. Initially I was taken back five years in my memory to sitting on my bed in a similar fashion hearing Band of Horses Infinite Arms for the first time during a final week of college. The comparison’s beyond the shared serenity of proper indie rock; for the record, Fortunaut is far more experimental and less folk. What was responsible for my memory jolt is that you don’t remember the first time you hear each album, but for me Infinite Arms was one of them – and now Press Up Off the Earth is too.

Favorite tracks include the nostalgic “Young” and the heart-acheningly beautiful “Vow.” Press Up Off the Earth feels like a debut album, but not in the sense that they need worry about a sophomore slump. That’s not a backhanded compliment, but simply you can hear them finding their sound, and while the scruff is sexy, I have a feeling in a few years they’ll look even better clean-shaved.

Stream Press Up Off the Earth below.

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