“Shadows” is the new single from rockers Forest Ray
“Shadows” is the new single from rockers Forest Ray. Serene and contemplative, this psychedelic rock piece is just another notch in the great work pouring out of this Seattle-based band. Possessing a wild mix of steel guitars and sensitive vocals, “Shadows” comes to the light and situates itself into the strong rock beams.
While the band started out as just a duo in San Luis Obispo, California, it’s now grown to be Peter Sumic (guitar, vocals, harmonica and composition), Eric Junge (drums), Sebastian Brown-Glad (bass guitar), Brendan McGovern (saxophone, flute and organ) and Simon Olander (guitar). “Shadows” is a follow-up to “Honesty” the first single from the album, Black Pine. Forest Ray records using analog and offers listeners its discography on vinyl. Previous releases are Musical Witchcraft (2016), Laughing (2018) and Faded Reflection (2019).
When it goes dark, Sumic sings. His voice is soothing and almost slithers across the chrome guitar riffs like toasted butter bread. When you start to settle into this song, you get a get a glimpse of a band that his hell-bent on sharing their own truths in a weird, quirky, fun way. In the shadows of your mind, Sumic continues, as a sweet synth layer engulfs the words. The caliber in the guitar is bright, zeroing in on a melodic tone. It’s like touching the car door of a 1975 black Chevy Malibu. The steel door knob burns in the summer time, and in the winter, mitten-less, the fingers are jumpstarted. Sumic’s voice is deep, but reaches to new heights at the most opportune times. He reminds me of Filter’s Richard Patrick at times; most times he’s beyond unique.
The lethargic haze that surrounds “Shadow” casts a vintage vibe. The percussion seems to be limited to the snare drum, with little movement anywhere else. It’s confined to its quarters. The flute makes it way throughout the song, playing peek-a-boo with the bass guitar. The high melodies during the chorus are charming and create this ethereal tone, adding yet another layer bolstering the pristine and crisp guitars. The more listens, the more the onion layers peel away and you feel everything from fear to melancholy, to joy. It’s quite the amber-laced trip. Breathe in the guitars and breathe out the percussion in little breaths. Rock and roll to the core, “Shadow” thrusts the listener into a realm squished between The Band, The Doors and Quicksilver.
In the “Shadow” music video – a Kodachrome aura awaits the viewer and listener. In typical Forest Ray fashion, it’s a merry mix of greenery and subliminal messaging. I had to rely on the press materials to get a better idea of the mysterious creature (puppet? stuffed animal? mascot?) following the lead singer. According to the press materials, the imaginary Dravis and Dude Buddy Cooper haunt an abandoned home. A madness ensues, as the Kodak clicks between these nefarious beings and the angelic harmonies of guest backing vocalist Ashlyn Nagel (she’s from Seattle rock bands VIIY and Control Test. Her voice aligned with Sumic’s harmonies is like a siren call back and forth.