Forrest James Burst Traverse

Under The Chrome Sea is the new concept album from Forrest James, a self-described dream waver out of Massachusetts. Setting aside the deft self description, the new record is one of the best finds of the year. James incorporates Boards of Canada (ISH) atmosphere, while spinning the glowing side of Neon Indian, almost like a hint or flutter in the ozone. This really comes through on the track “Waves,” but there’s more to the record than simple comparisons. Forrest calls it a “concept album” which was nine months in the making; this is quite apparent throughout the record. The new album plays like a trip being taken exclusively by your mind. Hell, the rest of you might being pulling a couch potato jones, but not the inner work. It’s all deep with a tinge of bitter-sweet, and the continually (popular) epic style explorative. One of the big stand outs for me is the way Forrest makes his song layout. He’s very patient, never in much of a hurry to change, but it will change into something. That’s the special part about his new record, you maintain this constant while somehow getting the motion with it.

On his bandcamp page Forrest explains the album this way…

“I’ve always wanted to work on a concept album. As an art form I really admire them in a way that “single” culture can’t ever touch for me. On top of that I planned from the beginning to release this album on vinyl, so whilst composing I was also considering timing, song placement, and how length affects sound quality. It has been an enjoyable voyage to new, welcome, terrain. Needless to say, I studied the 1970’s and 80’s and how the idea of the album was approached in that era. “Under The Chrome Sea” is the result of all these meanderings and more.”

Its imperative you nab the limited edition red colored vinyl via his bandcamp, or DL for FREE.  Well done dude!

 

OH!HELLO Spooky EP

I haven’t been this excited for an EP in quite a while. OH!HELLO is by far a captivating roller coaster ride for the haunted pop folk heart throbbs out there. I’d say this EP is perfect for a rainy day or a few beers on the front porch. This is a one man show, ran by Michael Todd Berland, from Portland, OR. He bases his EPs on themes, or one word. For instance, the Spooky EP, which you can find on his BandCamp, is partially inspired by scary movies, up late at night sketches, too much coffee and spooky romance. Berland does a fantastic job of keeping you lost in the cloud of beautifully haunted dreamy anticipation for the next track.The entire EP is a smooth listen. It leaves me wanting an endless amount of more tracks. Berland has released two EP’s so far and has plans to put a full album out  in the future, but for now, he’s content releasing his newest free EP called Sleepy. Its been so long since I’ve found an artist capable of keeping such a simple sound but making sure every track is a new adventure. This seems to be easy for Berland, with his smooth vocals straight out of the 50’s, adding on that layered magic. The lo-fi sound is a perfect tone for this EP, feeling nestled up with the tiny static in the background of the story being told. Between his projects, his student career as a graphic designer, and his lady friend, Mr. Berland seems to have plenty of inspiration to keep him going. Get on the amazing Spooky EP and make your Sunday what it should be.

xx
Tea Leigh