Tyler Fortier


"There are great songwriters, and then there are great songwriters doing interesting things. Tyler Fortier is the latter. The Eugene-based singer-songwriter — who has roots in Bend — established himself as a great songwriter on his first four records, especially 2010’s “This Love Is Fleeting,” a collection of beautiful, downcast Americana music that channels the starkness of Ryan Adams, the lush experimentalism of Conor Oberst and the storytelling acumen of Josh Ritter. But it’s his fifth record (and his plans for 2011) that reveals Fortier as a musician unafraid of ambition and adventure. Saturday night at portello winecafe, he’ll officially release “ ... And They Rode Like Wildfire Snaking Through the Hills ‘Neath the Scarlet Sun,” an album of lo-fi, 19th-century narrative songs about the old West. Fortier wrote the tunes in a week in late 2010 and recorded them at his parents’ house in Bend, inspired by a movie about Wild Bill Hickock." –Bend Bulletin

“This year, Tyler Fortier will release three albums. Actually, if you include the live disc he’s preparing, he’ll actually have four full-length discs coming out before we hit 2012. In an age when bands are considered to be working at a hectic pace if they put out one album every two years, this is almost hard to believe. What’s even more incredible is that Fortier is commonly out on the road for tours that include as many as 40 dates, but still manages to find time to write, record and produce all of his songs. And he doesn’t just write the dozen or so songs that appear on these discs – he’ll often pen 30 or more tracks for a record, the majority of which are tossed aside with only the best cuts appearing on the album. For reasons only he probably knows, the Eugene-based songwriter (whose parents live here in Bend) seems to feel a need to defend, no matter how unnecessary, his prolific output. “I know it seems crazy to put out three albums in a year, but I’m not throwing out shit. It’s stuff I’m really proud of,” says Fortier, checking in from Eugene where he, just a week prior, had released his latest album, Fear of the Unknown, a 13-track collection of Fortier’s wide-range of indie rock, Americana, blues and a host of other influences that make it tough for him to even describe his own sound. “I still haven’t found a way to comfortably talk about my work. It’s hard to describe,” says Fortier. But he doesn’t mind a few comparisons. When I tell him that I could hear some Bruce Springsteen on a few tracks on Fear of the Unknown that tell easy-to-visualize stories, like “Sing For Our Fellowman,” Fortier agrees. “I actually think Springsteen is one of my biggest influences and it comes out sometimes,” he says, “I definitely wanted to capture an E. Street Band sort of feel.” -Source Weekly

"Few musicians render me speechless, awestruck and inspired all at once, but Tyler Fortier recently managed to do it with his latest album, Fear Of The Unknown. Yes, I review music all the time and listen to artists of all genres and calibers, but Fortier... he's different. In Fear Of The Unknown, Tyler Fortier strikes a chord - not on his guitar or with his voice (though he's extremely capable of succeeding at both), but with his resonating message of fellowship and unity in a time of economic, cultural and political instability. He answers those existential questions we ask ourselves almost every day: Who am I? What role do I play in this world? Where do I fit in? Fortier puts those worries to rest with songs that'll make you laugh, cry, and above all, feel alive. -www.bestnewbands.com

"Fear of the Unknown is laced with strong examples of the many things musicians strive for when making an album. Fortier’s writing and lyrics are excellent; his theme remains hefty throughout; he uses an array of sturdy backing musicians; and he has enough catchy tunes within the thirteen-song disc to connect to a large audience. The Americana/rock/singer-songwriter sound is something Fortier seems to be supremely comfortable with. It all starts with the writing. The composition and lyrical delivery really stand out as Fortier’s bread and butter. The album is stuffed with potent, vivid verses...At the end of the day, Fear Of The Unknown sucks you in with its storytelling and cohesiveness, keeping the listener hooked with sturdy, solid musicianship." -Scene Magazine

"Eugene resident Tyler Fortier’s new CD, This Love Is Fleeting, grabbed me as soon as I popped it in the CD player. As I listened to it to and from work, I marveled at how his voice and his words seem to float effortlessly over each note, each instrument, and each turn of a phrase. But while a host of descriptive words came to mind, the ones that kept coming back to me were: sad, melancholic, and heartbroken. ...Each of his 12 tracks takes the listener on a journey, beginning with puppy love, and then following with breakups and other heartaches... One of Fortier’s greatest strengths might be his ability to write the perfect lyric to represent a particular moment in one’s life.... With a voice that can be soft, still, and clear, but also grizzly and frustrated, Fortier creates beautiful, heartfelt songs that deliver" -Eugene Magazine

"In the great tradition of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and other American music artists whose craft is rooted in the fabric of their homeland, Eugene, Ore.-based singer/songwriter Tyler Fortier has produced a beautiful collection of songs on his fourth CD. His music could be classified as folk, but that would ignore the foundation of country and a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll that shapes his honest, clean sound. His music comes in like a lamb but has the impact of a lion, with poetic lyrics that explore Fortier’s introspective observations on life and its ups and downs – songs that are meant to be listened to on rainy days when you’re indoors passing the time just thinking about stuff, his pleasant, soft voice like a blanket to hold you." -Tacoma Weekly

"A Northwest troubadour Singer-songwriter brings his music to Shoreline The style is classic: Americana roots rock with folksy trimmings. The tableau is familiar: a singer, a guitar, a quiet café. But the face is a new one: 24-year-old Tyler Fortier, an up-and-coming musician hailing from Camas, Wash., who prefers the latter descriptor in the well-known category of singer-songwriter. “First and foremost I consider myself a writer. Music is something to put it to. I have the need to write, I just want to play music,” Fortier says. Fortier released his fourth album, “This Love is Fleeting,” on April 15. The recent University of Oregon graduate did all of the writing and much of the production himself. Though he already has significant recording and performing experience, this album marks his most serious effort to share his songs with a larger audience. All of which the songwriter does while following a simple philosophy: “Do it if you love it.” -The Enterprise

"Part puppeteer and part meteorologist, Tyler Fortier uses lyrics to both control and describe the weather in his new batch of songs. The music draws listeners into an intimate landscape while holding them at arm’s length. Listeners may not get the sense that they know what he was feeling when he wrote the lines, but the songs on his new album, “This Love Is Fleeting,” are packed with emotion. The 24-year-old songwriter has graduated from the University of Oregon. He plans to make Eugene his home base while he strikes out on the road for his longest concert tour to date. “One Thing Left to Say,” which is among the strongest songs on the new CD, is a good example of how night and day can become characters in a Fortier tune: “The night plays flute with the chimney chutes/ A steady rhythm on worn-out boots." -The Register Guard

"This collection of home and studio recordings by the Eugene troubadour is a solid cycle of folk and country tunes that whirls like a weathervane at the windy Crossroads of Americana — you know, that Faustian place where Robert Johnson signed away his soul to the man with pointy horns. Fortier, a deft songwriter with a voice spun of pure silk, refuses to budge an inch from his obvious sweet spot, standing pat with one leg planted in the past and one in the future. Thankfully, his artistic influences are as attractive as they are apparent... Fortier sounds like Ryan Adams right after he left Whiskeytown to become the prodigal son of the burgeoning alt-country scene. Safe, yes, but also pretty damn smart.. This Love finds him in a more confident and engaged mood, and willing to allow the strength of his songwriting to speak for itself. And Fortier is good enough that his fans will always meet him half way, wherever he chooses to go, or not go." -Eugene Weekly