Besides having catchy tunes and good, honest lyrics, the one thing that sets The Lonely Forest apart from their indie-pop brethren is the fact that they don’t take themselves too seriously.
That becomes apparent with one listen to their big single, the ironically titled “Turn Off This Song and Go Outside”.
That ditty is definitely the best track on the group’s third full-length album, Arrows, but it’s far from the only quality song.
The four-piece hailing from Anacortes, Wash., channels the best of late ’90s/early ’00s alt-rock. Particularly on earlier releases such as Nuclear Winter (2007) and We Sing the Body Electric! (2009), where the piano is more prominent, the group conjures up memories of Ben Folds Five.
But on the latest release, the sound is more reminiscent to such bands as Jimmy Eat World and, to a lesser extent, Filter. (Sidenote: The album was produced by Death Cab For Cutie guitarist/producer Chris Walla.)
On the above track — which is actually titled “I Don’t Want To Live There” — singer John Van Deusen longs to remain in the Pacific Northwest as opposed to living in Los Angeles or Nashville or other far-flung metropolises.
Very few of the 12 tracks on Arrows even border on being filler. And, besides the two aforementioned songs, the other standouts are “(I Am) the Love Addict”, “Coyote” and “We Sing In Time”, which was also on the previous LP.
If I’d listened to the album a month or so earlier, it would’ve definitely made my Best of 2011 list. Perhaps I can make it up to the band by going to one of its shows. I’ve heard they’re pretty great in person, and I wouldn’t mind confirming that for myself.