Premiere: Fort Frances Revisit Adolescence with Anthemic Single “Fantasy of Youth”

Fort Frances © Ehud Lazin
Fort Frances © Ehud Lazin
Chicago trio Fort Frances have one goal in mind with their nostalgic single “Fantasy of Youth”: To put a smile on your face.
Stream: “Fantasy of Youth” – Fort Frances
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For some of us, in the midst of our teenage years, life seemed apocalyptic. Our hormones were seething wildly. Awkwardness abounded constantly, scorching our confidence. And the balance of the world’s axis seemed to hinge on questions that, in hindsight, were inane: Who am I taking to prom? Will I make the varsity team this year? Am I going to get that scholarship? Of course, not all of adolescence is as unpleasant as eruptions of forehead acne and senior year anxiety. With their latest single, “Fantasy of Youth,” Fort Frances tap into the joy of being a teenager — a time when life takes on a fleeting simplicity adulthood naturally demolishes.

“Fantasy of Youth” – Fort Frances Cover Artwork
All the days smelled like gasoline
My hands shook, the wheels spun,
the light guided me to leave
Now the past is a novel
that everyone wants to read
So bury me in lies
I don’t need the truth
I want to believe in the fantasy of youth

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Fantasy of Youth,” Chicago trio Fort Frances’ latest single (independently out everywhere September 6, 2019).

As an “ode to [his] 16-year-old self,” frontman David McMillin aimed to create an escapist experience, to invoke the innocence we all once knew as teenagers. “When you listen to this song, I hope it helps you erase whatever you’re thinking about — your bank account balance or your shitty boss or your concerns about whether the world is going to be able to make it through the wild waves of the modern age —and puts you back in the driver’s seat of your life,” he told Atwood Magazine. “Reclaiming that time is an impossibility. But I still think it’s good to try to peer through that unspoiled lens of non-adulthood — the one that frames the promise of the whole world at your front door and puts a smile on your face because you don’t need to bother looking at the news, waiting for emails or thinking about how to divvy up your next paycheck.”

Our mothers and our fathers
warned us of what was to come
Paychecks and prescription pills
won’t give you the keys to the kingdom
But middle age is still a mystery,
god only knows what I haven’t done

Fort Frances Urge Us to Press Pause in “Double Take”


Like the many songs we’ve heard from Fort Frances, “Fantasy of Youth” is anthemic to its core: There’s McMillin’s twangy vocals; the horns add a warm, operatic texture; guitars and drums climb in tandem to an inoffensively mighty chorus. Everything is playful, sunny, and comforting, much like how adolescence can feel at its highest points.

“All the days smelled like gasoline, my hands shook, the wheels spun, the light guided me to leave,” McMillin muses. “Now the past is a novel that everyone wants to read.” McMillin, who doesn’t “need the truth,” is ambling among his past memories not as a way to escape reality, but as a means to relearn how to be innocent, how to tap into that beautiful teenage spirit.

I don’t give a damn about where I’m going
I don’t give a damn about what I need
I don’t give a damn about where I’m going
I just wanna live in the fantasy

Stream “Fantasy of Youth” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

Stream: “Fantasy of Youth” – Fort Frances
[soundcloud url=”” params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&visual=true&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]

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