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Fairmont-The Subtle Art of Making Enemies EP

Band Name: Fairmont
Album Name: The Subtle Art of Making Enemies EP
Best Element: The gorgeous flute/piano/cello finale
Genre: Indie Rock
Label Name: Renfield Records, Reinforcement Records.
Band E-mail:

It’s amazing to watch as a band rises up and creates its own persona, all the while maintaining the advancement of its musical creativity. Fairmont has, without argument, done just that. As I looked through their discography the first word that came to mind was “bitter.” With songs entitled “Wish You Were Dead”, “It’s Not Rain, God is Spitting On Us”, “How Summer Tour Made Me An Atheist”, and my personal favorite, “Sometimes I’m Bitter”, it’s hard not to think that you may just be listening to a future My Chemical Romance album. The feeling is further cemented if you read their biography and happen to notice the quote by lead singer Neil Sabatino which confidently sates that their “dream is to make record after record and if one kid out there can relate to our tales of bitterness then our job is done.” However, Fairmont’s embittered persona, though alive and well, seems to be evolving. With their fourth EP, The Subtle Art of Making Enemies, Fairmont shows that they have, for the time being at least, not resurrected the morose monster that has become such a defining part of their past releases.

Prior to listening to the EP I casually threw Fairmont into the classification with other generic indie rock acts. This was, however, a large mistake and a reaction which I now regret having. The first track on the EP, “Happiness is a Million Miles Away”, is the darkest and gives heed to that morose monster, but doesn’t release it. The darker sound is a perfect compliment to Sabatino’s slightly nasal yet gratifying voice. “Lack of Luster” is extremely catchy and fun even if “the sun don’t shine” and “nothing’s getting better”. The final track “Rebuilding Home” shows Fairmont in all the glory that they deserve. Suddenly a cello starts moving, a piano begins a beautiful accompaniment, and as the EP closes a flute chimes in with a delicate melody. “Rebuilding Home” is undoubtedly the cherry on top of the sundae.

It’s safe to say that Fairmont is ahead of the curve in the indie rock scene, which is not surprising considering that the band evolved out of Pencey Prep, who played shows with The Strokes, Nada Surf, and Thursday. If this EP is evidence of things to come, then Fairmont will be advancing the music scene for many albums to come.

-Mark Pranger