Forest Ray releases new Single/Video (PREMIERE)
Having the word “shadows” in a song title conveys a certain attitude. From the New Wave anthemic “Shadows On Your Side” from Duran Duran to the up tempo “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby (Standing In The Shadows)” from Rolling Stones, there’s a sense of darkness and lightness, a premise of following or chasing. Seattle rockers Forest Ray capture a sense of confusion and the allure of another in the Earthy rock piece “Shadows”.
Since 2016, Forest Ray has been doing it the old-school way of recording music through the analogy process. The patience and craft has paid off – from their debut Musical Witchcraft, to Laughing in 2018, to Faded Reflection in 2019 and this year’s Black Pine, the band’s roots run deep with pop rock branches from The Stooges, The Kinks and even The Beach Boys. Forest Ray is Peter Sumic (lead singer, guitarist and harmonica, Eric Junge (drums), Sebastian Brown-Glad (bass), Brendan McGovern (saxophone, flute and organ) and Simon Olander (guitar). What you get with Forest Ray is what you expect – originality and sincerity. There’s not faking this kind of artistry.
Lyrically, “Shadows” is a typical rock and roll gem, with some garage punk toppings. “My whole life, I-I-I-I’m wondering into the night, I just want to follow you now…in the shadows of your mind” Sumic sings. His bravado is sensitive and circular. He’s wandering around within his own mind with these words. He sounds like disconnected from his own reality and more in-tune with the person on his mind. Interestingly enough, the music doesn’t have the same dissonance. It’s tight – the drums and the bass guitar are potent, er, poignant. They give off this simple groove, but the more you listen, the more you hear the nuances and the intricacies of the wave lengths. I was surprised to hear the flute. I think it flavored it even more into that 60s rock sound that Forest Ray so adores. They play a game of hide-and-go-seek between surf rock, punk rock and garage rock – all of the players in this game are trying to outdoor the other and tag them. The dramatic guitar riffs are delicious and wickedly weird. Just when you think “Shadows” is going to sound Americana, it throws in a rock and roll wrench.
In the music video, Sumic stars as Dravis, with his peculiar friend, Dude Buddy Cooper hiding in the proverbial shadows. I was befuddled as to what was happening. Honestly, I’m not sure if they were imagining things, or if the band members were pretending to act out weird drug enhanced visions. The film-like video captures the greenery and cabin-like feel of Washington State. Making yet another appearance in a Forest Ray video is singer Ashlyn Nagel from the rock bands VIIY and Control Test. She also appeared in Forest Ray’s “Honesty” trippy video. Her backing vocals on the “Shadows” chorus make it even more worth the price of admission. Alongside Sumic, her voice is the light and his is the shady portion. Brian Glinski and Steven Chappel directed/filmed the video, with Conor O’Keefe serving as editor.