You might’ve seen recent headlines about Fort Hood changing their name to Fort Cavazos. Which, apolitically speaking, is fascinating because there was also an outfit right here in town under the same name who pulled pretty much the same move almost a decade back. But even before the Austin trio formerly known as Fort Hood adopted a new handle, the idea of rebranding amidst disappointment was already ripe in their minds.
You see, before vocalist Chantell Moody moved to Austin, she felt emotionally destitute in Des Moines. Although she traveled light when relocating to the Live Music Capital, a set of pipes just as immense as her heart helped her achieve frontwoman status with The Digital Wild. After linking up with producer Timmie Rook, the pair began collaborating as Fort Hood and relaunched themselves as Fort Never with the recruitment of drummer Deano Cote in the mid-2010s. In the Fall of 2017, The three-piece dropped their debut 8-track Home, a garrison of Portishead-esque trip-hop, electronic dub, lo-fi folk and experimental arrangements in the vein of tUnEyArds. At the turn of the 2020s, Fort Never unfurled a pair of singles, the second of which enjoyed a Mobley remix in 2021.
Well last weekend, Fort Never came strutting out of the portcullis with an absolute beauty. Sounding like Citizen Cope on a double dose of dopamine, “Take A Look At Us Now” (alongside its music video) wows with a languid boom bap beat, calm yet confident piano chords, pensive guitar, strings that give “Bitter Sweet Symphony” a run for its money, and a masterful vocal performance rivaling that of Roses Gabor all in just under five minutes.
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