The Clash has premiered Forest Fire’s new video for “Cold Kind” from the band’s new album Screens out now on FatCat. The Clash described “Cold Kind” by saying, “It’s probably not one to play with the lights off and nobody else home, all throbbing and unsettling and skin-creepingly intimate. That said, the band finds space for warmth, and that certainly comes through on this track.” The video was directed by Forest Fire bassist Galen Bremer who said, “I have always enjoyed the contrasts in ‘Cold Kind’ – the song has a sturdy and thin tone – and it feels consistent even when accumulating. This is foremost something nice to look at while you listen – and we captured segments that have a similar colour to the music, and trace its form. It was filmed in Maine, upstate New York, Brooklyn, the MoMa, the MTA, and in an unknown elevator shaft.” Forest Fire has a Brooklyn record release show coming up on October 5 at Glasslands.
New York City’s Forest Fire, led by vocalist/songwriter Mark Thresher, return this fall with Screens. With their third full-length, Forest Fire – now the quartet of Thresher, Natalie Stormann, Galen Bremer, and Robert Pounding – have found it.
“It” has been hinted at in previous releases – e.g. the howling languor of “Slow Motion”, from the band’s debut Survival (named one of Rough Trade Shops’ top album of the year for 2010), or vitreous mid-tempo dejection ballad “The News” from 2011’s FatCat issued Staring at the X (“You won’t get far,” Thresher sang, “with that look in your eyes”) – but Screens is pure lightning.
After some lineup adjustments that left the band leaner and more centered, Forest Fire partnered with engineer Jonathan Schenke (Parquet Courts, Dirty Beaches) possibilities they’d before only touched on, and to enable their new songs to breathe and stretch out.
That stretching out is quite literal in the case of album centerpiece “Annie,” an eleven- minute track that is wide but not sprawling, buoyed by motorik lope and ornate synths, that the band acknowledges owes a debt to the late ’70s output of not only Kraftwerk but Yoko Ono, Joy Division, Laurie Anderson, and their ilk; Sandy Skoglund’s iconic 1977 photograph Pink Sink is the cover.
From its darker, sparser, sonic landscapes, obsession with analog instrumentation, and movement-focused, heavily metaphorical lyrics, Screens finds Forest Fire hewing to this mood. But for all the record’s gratitude to the past, its aesthetic is just as much forward-looking, able to embrace the sunrise hooks of anthemic album opener “Waiting in the Night” and the Suicide-spooky synth-drone of “Cold Kind” as easily as “Alone with the Wires”‘s jangly stride and Leonard Cohen-frosted vocal delivery.
Screens Track List
2. Yellow Roses
5. Cold Kind
8. The Great Wall
10. Never Far
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