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JFH Staff Review


Future of Forestry, The Piano & String Sessions EP
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Future of Forestry
The Piano & String Sessions EP



Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Acoustic / Indie / Piano
Album length: 7 tracks: 29 minutes, 41 seconds
Street Date: March 18, 2014


Creators often see their work as alive and subject to change. One notable example is George Lucas, whose Star Wars franchise was continually subject to new adjustments; no incarnation of his work is the same. Seemingly taking a page from this book of reimagining seasoned material, Future of Forestry has released The Piano and String Sessions EP, a collection of living works with a new perspective.

Eric Owyoung, the main creative force behind FOF, sees his music as open to several types of interpretation, and The Piano and String Sessions EP is the next project in this journey. Using only an upright piano, a cello, and two violins, Owyoung transforms his previous compositions by implementing a minimalist, but still complete, approach. To call the project a mere "acoustic project" would be underselling it, however, as there is a certain beauty in the simplicity of each song. These songs were beautiful in both forms, even if the listener has to adjust a bit on the first exposure. When Young Man Follow's "You" begins the album in discreet fashion, the listener immediately understands what sort of project this is, and the six following tracks are just as serene.

Save for the band's Christmas EPs, The Piano and String Sessions EP features selections from every major FOF studio project, and the EP serves as a great companion piece to the catalog. Young Man Follow's "As It Was" already worked well as a break in that album's action, making it a logical inclusion here. Travel III's "Horizon Rainfall," previously a synth and keyboard driven track, stays refreshing with the strings simulating the raindrop sounds of the original track. "Traveler's Song," arguably one of FOF's most complete tracks, shines beautifully as a simple piano-driven track where Owyoung's vocals especially stand out. The same is true for the longer songs, "Slow Your Breath Down" and "Halleluiah," which benefit from the less produced feel to breathe new life into the messages therein.

The Piano and String Sessions EP is a comparatively short project that showcases another dimension to the increasingly prolific nature of Future of Forestry. Just skirting by the "novelty project" descriptor without much issue, these reincarnations of previous work give credit to the artistic mind of Owyoung and his desire to try new things. It's a worthwhile effort, thankfully keeping FOF in the artistic conversation.

- Review date: 3/19/14, written by Roger Gelwicks of Jesusfreakhideout.com


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JFH Staff's Second Opinion



It's a tough task labeling Future of Forestry. The mixing of alternative, ambient and experimental sounds can sometimes turn listeners away. For those who get hooked, however, Eric Owyoung's projects, arguably, deliver some of the most creative, beautiful songs in the entire music industry. With The Piano and String Sessions EP, we get 6 songs from previous albums presented with the instruments that this EP's name suggests. The softer take on the tracks provides a bit more consistency from song to song than a typical Future of Forestry album. Almost all of the tracks feel drastically different than their original recordings; "You" and "Slow Your Breath Down" are particularly well done. "Traveler's Song" benefits the most from the new sound. The melancholy atmosphere around Owyoung softly singing, "If you travel here, you will feel it all, the brightest and the darkest," is simply mesmerizing. Only "Hallelujah" feels a bit unnecessary, since it does not change significantly enough to justify this new version. That minor gripe aside, there is still a lot to love here. While the style won't appeal to everyone, The Piano and Strings Session EP is packed with elegant vocals and masterful demonstrations of musicianship. - Review date: 3/16/14, Jerold Wallace

 

. Record Label: None
. Album length: 7 tracks: 29 minutes, 41 seconds
. Street Date: March 18, 2014

  1. You (4:28)
  2. Slow Your Breath Down (4:32)
  3. As It Was (3:55)
  4. Horizon Rainfall (3:24)
  5. All I Want (3:59)
  6. Halleluiah (5:28)
  7. Traveller's Song (3:59)

 

 

 

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