Fort York
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Fort York

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Folk Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Fort York-When She Was Dead"

Southern Souls filmed a live performance of our song When She Was Dead for their website. - Southern Souls

"Fort York at the Dakota Tavern"

Last Thursday night, Toronto’s own Fort York played what I call the comfort zone venue for country folk (so much Stock Ale), the now legendary Dakota Tavern. A release show/party celebrating their debute album, Feels Like Then.

Front to back, this album is brilliant. The product of carefully handcrafted songs and gorgeous arrangements – each song has it’s own palette. It’s delicious.

The show sold out (130 Leasiders) with a wholesome mix of fam and friends, the best kind of feel good shows, seems historical too. Brings to mind a hazy nostalgia of shows I used to play back in the day. Fort York journeyed through the album, from incredibly delicate banjo ballads (“Mary”) to soul-churning soul-keys in “Sarah.” So much soul.

All under the shimmering festive Dakota stage lights, the whole performance was stylishly packaged. Right down to the AP down the street – yep, PBR served off the wintery roof. Fort York are marvellous songcrafters, tremendous musicians, and of course throw good parties. True saints overall. - Songs and Cigarettes

"Meet Toronto’s Fort York (the band, not the historic site)"

Every now and then, a local band pops up seemingly out of nowhere, and we’re smitten. Fort York is one of those bands.

Comprised of five guys from Toronto (Conor Lavelle, Kyle Fulton, Dan Lefebvre, Nick Kewin and Rory Lavelle), it’s hard to believe the band only just released their debut album, Feels Like Then—a testament to the talent and hard work that went into making it. We’re digging it, to say the least.

As the story goes, Fort York came together and began writing songs on the distinguished (i.e. rotting wood and exposed nails) third floor deck of a Toronto house and practicing in the lamp-lit basement. The result is Feels Like Then, an album featuring 8 well-crafted, intimate folk tracks that make it difficult to pick a favourite. For us, it’s a toss-up between the banjo ballad “Mary” and the toe-tapping “Colorado.” - She Does The City

"Feels Like Then by Fort York. Local folk rockers Fort York crank out country fun on their first full-length LP."

Fort York is the kind of band name you wish you thought up with your friends first. According to Fort York’s Bandcamp page mythology, the group was spawned by roommates living on Toronto’s Brunswick Avenue, who constructed a rehearsal space in their house around the same time they picked up a banjo. Feels Like Then is the group’s first release.

The bottom of the group’s Bandcamp page lists the tags “Fleet Foxes” and “Bon Iver.” The album’s first and title track, “Feels Like Then,” is certainly reminiscent of the latter, with currently-trending Bon Iver-ish songwriting tendencies mixed in with a more mainstream melody. We also liked its layered, madrigal outro. Beyond the inclusion of harmonies, the band’s self-comparison to Fleet Foxes falls a bit short. Fort York are less rustic than their Fleet Foxes predecessors; we found the chord progressions hearken a bit closer to earlier Elliott Smith.

It is obvious Fort York are talented songwriters; they seem to be limiting themselves here by self-locating within the Canadiana alt-rock canon. The folk aspect of the music feels forced at times, although still enjoyable; the second track, “When She Was Dead,” is a nice sentimental country tune similar to Cuff the Duke. But the album’s best elements are in the songs which stray from the genre altogether, such as the sixth track, “Sarah,” featuring a chilling keyboard line from Conor Lavelle. The song is reminiscent of early Elton John, and showcases the group’s songwriting potential. Genre reservations aside, all the songs on the album are entertaining, and we imagine Fort York could be a lot of fun to see live. It was also nice to hear the vocals so forward in the mix; credit here goes to expert mixing and mastering from Peter Hamilton at One Fell Swoop Studios, and Ben Somer at Lacquer Channel Mastering.

A great effort for the group’s first release; we look forward to seeing future releases from Fort York—even if just for their excellent band name. - Torontoist


Fort York's Debut EP, "Feels Like Then", was released in November 2011.

It's lead single "When She Was Dead" has received substantial radio airplay and a live recording of the song was featured on the popular internet video archive Southern Souls.



Fort York is a group of gifted songwriters and musicians based out of Toronto. Their debut album "Feels Like Then" was recently released and has received praise for its tightly crafted alternative folk compositions which have drawn comparisons to everyone from the Beach Boys and The Zombies, to Bon Iver and Wilco. Prior to the album's release the band established a name in Toronto’s thriving live music scene, honing their skills at legendary venues like the Horseshoe Tavern, El Mocombo and The Dakota Tavern. While their songs were written and recorded in Toronto’s Annex Neighbourhood, Fort York’s music is deeply influenced by the rural Canadian experience and has grown out of Ontario’s northern landscape, lakes and granite shield, where the band members spent many of their summers.