Fort Frances’ David McMillin finds faith and mercy can carry him forward

Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Singer-songwriter David McMillin is the lead singer of the Chicago trio Fort Frances. In addition to the music he makes with Fort Frances, McMillin has released several solo albums. He recently released “I Will Leave The Rest Behind,” a sparse, heart-on-your-sleeve song that demands your attention. It’s a song you’ve heard before; a soul searching, moving on down the road kind of song, built on a simple chord structure, sparse acoustic guitar and piano arrangements and a folksy sentiment. On it though, McMillin manages to rise way above the cliche of the singer-songwriter as he sings it with passion and so much conviction that you can practically see him driving down the road he’s on in his dying Chevrolet. He sings “I am not searching for answers/ I am not biding my time/ as long as faith and mercy can carry me, I will leave the rest behind.”

The road McMillin is on right now will take him to the Kerrville Folk Festival this weekend and then to the Telluride Bluegrass festival a finalist in the Telluride Troubadour competition in June. Below, download “I Will Leave The Rest Behind.”


My Morning Download: “Plastic Hearts” by Fort Frances

FortFrances_Harbour_Photo_560 Chicago indie rockers Fort Frances have a new song, “Plastic Hearts” that you can download below. The band has a new album, Breathing Room, out tomorrow. The band has a couple of appearances slated for CMJ including an appearance as part of the Outlaw Road Show. “Plastic Hearts” is a driving, energetic tune that continues to showcase the band’s infectious, well crafted songwriting.


The Week’s Best MP3s, incl. Bad Braids, Les Professionnels, Owen, Fort Frances


Previewing songs from an upcoming album, Mike Kinsella brought his solo project Owen to Folkadelphia recently.  The Chicago native and former member of Cap’n Jazz and American Football performed four intimate songs for the session, including “Love is Not Enough,” which you can stream and download below.  Check out the full session here.

Local remixers Les Professionnels kicked off their inaugural Just Say Yes Party last week with a free download of “Just Say Yes.”  The dance jam features contributions from a number of collaborators including Anna Lunoe and The Dead Rose Music Company.  Stream and download “Just Say Yes” below.

This week on Unlocked, The Key looked at Bad Braids‘ new album Supreme Parallel.  The feature started off on Monday with a free download of “Pennies” from the local project of Megan Biscieglia, a track that shows off the delicate but powerful traits of the multi-instrumentalist’s music.  Take a look back at the ful Unlocked installment here.

South Philly singer-songwriter Ryan Tennis and his nine-piece Clubhouse Band stopped by recently for a Key Studio Session.  Recording four songs that span Tennis’s creative palate, the band worked their numbers to the greatest advantage during the session.  Download “Madeline” below and get the full session here.

Chicago’s Fort Frances were featured on Tuesday’s My Morning Download with their song “I Had Love.”  Melding a rootsy jangle with a singer-songwriter vibe, the new band are instant ear catchers and are now supporting their second studio effort, this week’s Harbour EP.


My Morning Download: “I Had Love” by Fort Frances

FortFrances_Harbour_Photo The Chicago indie rock band Fort Frances released its debut album, The Atlas, in early 2011. The band releases a new EP, Harbour, today. After the band released its debut, they found two quick fans in Counting Crows’ Adam Durwitz and Ryan Spaulding of the prestigious and popular RSL Music Blog (Ryan’s Smashing Life.) and they invited Fort Frances to perform at their Outlaw Roadshow at this year’s SXSW.

Fronted by lead vocalist David McMillin, Fort Frances have a warm, melodic and versatile sound, filled with gorgeous songs that vary in dynamics. There’s a little bit of a Wilco vibe, a little bit of David Gray, a little bit of roots and rock and roll. You definitely want to keep your eyes on this band. Below, download a new song, “I Had Love.”