The term Folk Music has as many definitions as it has people playing it. A Serbian accordion player will interpret the word folk entirely differently to Neil Young or Joni Mitchell. The Melbourne six-piece, Forest Falls, have recently offered their own contribution to the forever evolving folk tradition. This comes in the form of their colourful second EP, Hounds.
Forest Falls, with strong harmonies and creative melodies, have been making small but noticeable waves in the Melbourne music scene for sometime now. The band’s first EP, the Julia EP, was released in 2014. This EP showcased a folk act, displaying signs of a lo-fi, but melodic sound, similar to the early works of Bon Iver and Iron and Wine. This second EP, Hounds, is noticeably better produced, and notably more original.
There is some seriously good song writing on this EP. The vocal harmonies are incredible. The sonic landscape being built by the band is colourful and dense. There is a heck of a lot of sounds, melodies, counter melodies, crescendos and explosions on this EP. This huge sound never feels over bearing, just simply ‘full’. I love the complex arrangements, and how well it all works together.
There are plenty of moments on this record when I found myself genuinely head bopping. There are some great groves that feature courtesy of the rhythm section. It is a feel good sound. The lead single Hounds, is a great example of just how good the sound is. Slightly reminiscent of Grizzly Bear’s harmonies on Veckatimest, Forest Fall’s harmonies act like waves. Not huge and crashing, but gently rolling into shore. There is certainly nothing offensive about this track. It is one to sit back and enjoy.
This album is for fans of Boy and Bear and the Middle East. This is a rich and colourful interpretation of the folk tradition. It will be exciting to see where this band goes in the near future.