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Last Year’s Man – This Year’s Sublime Record

Last Year’s Man reviewed

Photo: Tyler Fortier

Last Year’s Man

‘Brave The Storm’

Out Now

By Rob Dickens

Last Year’s Man is the pseudonym of Tyler Fortier, the Eugene, Oregon-based producer and songwriter.

This time around, the prolific producer steps from the shadows with his debut album Brave the Storm.

Here is a clip for the title track and lead-off single, a gentle and encouraging story of coping with depression. The song features well-regarded Portland singer/songwriter Anna Tivel on backing vocals and violin and provides a clear example of Fortier’s dusky and painted vocals as he opines: “I know there’s nothing I can say/that you haven’t heard” and “I wonder if it’s the last time any of us will feel such sorrow”.

“The heart of the song is about living with your own demons and how easy it can be to become your own worst enemy,” Fortier said of the song. “I’m speaking to the protagonist throughout and trying pull her through.”

“Brave the Storm” also features multi-instrumentalist Lex Price (Neko Case, Rodney Crowell, Peter Bradley Adams) on tenor guitar, and Fortier’s longtime collaborator Milo Fultz on upright bass.

The album is relatively short, comprising eight tracks and around thirty minutes in total. But that succinctness enhances the project , not detracts, proving that less can be more. The low-key, evocative, Mandolin-Orange-style provides a stylistic layer of beauty and insight.

Other tracks include “My Ghost Town” which has a prominent, lonely steel guitar, the youthful love considered thoughtfully in “Guide You Back to Me”, the perky riff in “Wild, Wild Heart” and the haunting closer “The Valley of Jehoshaphat”.

Brave The Storm provides a beautifully sparse and tender landscape.

Brave the Storm Track Listing:

1. Brave the Storm
2. No Eye On the Sparrow
3. My Own Ghost Town
4. Guide You Back to Me
5. Wild, Wild Heart
6. The Dark End of the Road
7. Feet of Clay
8. The Valley of Jehoshaphat

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Tyler Fortier’s music has been featured on networks like CBS, Netflix, Showtime and the BBC. He has contributed music to libraries like Warner Chappell, BMG, and Marmoset. As a producer, Fortier’s passion is working with up-and-coming artists, including Jeffrey Martin, Anna Tivel, Beth Wood, and Jeff Crosby. In total, Fortier has been involved with over forty projects as producer, mix engineer, or session player — and usually, all of the above. 

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Last Year’s Man reviewed

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Author: Rob Dickens

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