The Lonely Forest: Arrows

The Lonely Forest: Arrows
Washington state-based quartet, The Lonely Forest recently signed to Trans, Chris Walla‘s record label. The label is an imprint of Atlantic Records, so it is a big step up for the Lonely Forest who spent their first half decade either self releasing records or releasing on Burning Building Recordings. Arrows marks their first full length record for Trans.
Being on Chris Walla’s label and having their album produced and engineered by the Death Cab for Cutie guitarist, it is natural to want to compare The Lonely Forest to Death Cab but the comparison is not quite right. It’s true that like Death Cab, the Lonely Forest are not big proponents of power chords but their sweeping arpeggios are more similar to early R.E.M.. Listening to “Coyote”, the guitar’s minor tones are reminiscent of Band of Horses while lead singer, John Van Deusen’s voice reminds me of Win Butler‘s. The combination makes them seemingly destined for blogosphere stardom.
On the other side, the Lonely Forest have songs like “We Sing In Time.” The track utilizes more of a steady strumming pattern rather than arpeggios; it reminds me of bands like The Long Winters. But what really makes the song great is the catchy hook.
Although I would not call the album a “pop” album, the album is actually really catchy. The songs are well written, the vocals are wobbly enough to not seem too polished but they sound good enough to know they are, and the instrumentation is almost always on point. No wonder Chris Walla made the Lonely Forest the first signing to his label.
Rating: 9.5/10
MP3: The Lonely Forest “We Sing In Time”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon