Album Review: Eli Forrest – Intertwined (Winner NMF Ep 55)

If you’re a fan of singer songwriters, Eli Forrest is an artist you’ll want to know. Whether you compare him to artists from the 60s or more recent talents like Kyle Cox, Eli Forrest is a force to be reckoned with. He’s a wizard with a guitar and, as we learn with this EP, a really talented songwriter as well. Here’s why the album is worth your time.

“Mystery Man” has some runs that I swear I haven’t heard since the Ventures were making music in the 60s. The vocal calls and runs themselves hearken back to the days of the Beach Boys. In fact, the invocation of those two artists shows how Forrest has a sort of west coast flavor to his music. It’s really the remarkable harmony-balanced-with-guitar work that gives Forrest’s music a distinctive characteristic.

“Right at Home” feels like a cool rock song in its own right. The uptempo flavor could make it a typical indie rock anthem like many that we hear. But honestly the lyrics and clear inflection are in a different category. It’s a break up song and a celebration in ways that we rarely get to hear, but it really works. The interlude “Endearment” shows that Forrest is not “just a rock guy” with some classical phrasing. Honestly, I’d love to hear a full album of instrumentals in that mode. It might not be right to call it new age, but it’s certainly “contemporary classical” and it is maybe my favorite part on the whole album.

The title track “Intertwined” is much more of a pop song than the others on the album. It’s got a Randy Newman characteristic to it. That said, if we assume the object of the lyrical content is the same person in the last two tracks, it’s easy to tell why more people have latched on to the final track “You.” This is a masteful piece of writing. It’s cinematic and deeply pleasing. For people who listen to lots of music in a given week, there might be months that go by without hearing a song with this kind of spirit. It sounds like something Matt Thiessen could have written. You need to hear it, that’s all.

If you’re still reading, thank you. Thank you from us and thank you from Eli Forrest. This kind of musical talent is so rare. To realize that Forrest wrote and recorded this all himself is simply stunning. I’d love to hear what he could do with a full team to support his efforts. But that’s what’s amazing about the indie music scene and guys like Eli Forrest. Instead of this music languishing in his home with no listeners, now thousands of us can listen and enjoy. We can connect our hearts with his and with each others, aching and longing for someone we love and thinking about all the worlds that could have been or might still yet be. It’s a joy. Do share, please.

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