Artist:  Future of Forestry
Title:  Travel
Label:  Credential Recordings

A too short but still stellar EP …

With attention spans and industry-wide album sales dwindling, labels are opting for EP releases rather than full-length outpourings. Besides being a shorter vehicle to introduce potential listeners to a relatively new act, it’s also much cheaper to purchase, as evidenced in the “Only $5” sticker on Future of Forestry’s follow-up to 2007’s long-play Twilight.

Similar to that previous project, the six songs on Travel bear ethereal similarities to Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Sleeping At Last and Cool Hand Luke, all tied around the enchanting vocals of Eric Owyoung. “Traveler’s Song” introduces the mini album with his chill-worthy chants and a hypnotic rhythm section that aptly pave the way for the string-enhanced atmospherics of “This Hour.” Come “Colors in Array,” the guys turn to even more sublime arrangements, recalling the long-defunct Christian group Honey merged with a more modern alternative underpinning.

“Close Your Eyes” shows off the group’s acoustic side and is the least adventurous on the entire album, though even in subdued contexts, Future of Forestry still cranks out a set of compelling lyrics anchored in the idea of unceasing trust in the Lord. Additional spiritual glimpses pop up on the finale “Hallelujah” (not to be confused with the Leonard Cohen oldie of the same title) that offers praise alongside swelling instrumental textures.

Though there’s plenty to like across all six tunes, one can’t help but feel like Travel’s 27-minute time limit is somewhat of a tease. There’s clearly enough talent to produce an affair that’s double the length. A follow-up is scheduled to release this fall poised to expand the band’s already-fervent indie rock audience.


 

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**This review first published on June 16, 2009.
 

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