A Dead Forest Index
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A Dead Forest Index


Band Alternative Avant-garde


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"A Dead Forest Index video"

A Dead Forest Index finally have their first video. Directed, shot and edited by their friend Leah Robertson, the video for ‘Distance’ (from the band’s Antique EP) has a natural feel that captures the band really well. Interlacing clips of them playing on a deck with footage of them and a few others observing a strange, slow, gypsy dance performed by the suavely-suited Vachel Spirason, the easy, straight-forward video style lends a relaxed nature to the band. Instead of going for something dramatic and atmospheric, which could have easily accompanied a song of such emotional weight, Leah has captured the band at their casual best, and given Sam (percussion) and Adam Sherry (vocals, guitar)’s personalities the space to shine. It’s great to see further things being released by one of our favourite bands.
- Einstein Music Journal

"NME 'Distance' Video"

http://www.nme.com/nme-video/youtube/id/ZaGmcn2okEc/search/a-dead-forest-index - NME

"Mess & Noise 'Distance' video"

http://www.messandnoise.com/tv/4294534 - Mess and Noise

"Cyclic Defrost Antique EP review"

Power and subtlety don’t often go together in rock. It’s all to easy to stamp on a distortion pedal and immediately have a default bigness. Or a vocal scream can be an obvious signpost for ‘anger’ or ‘frustration’. A Dead Forest Index never take these easy options. Instead, their songs are tightly wound, the tension increasing to breaking point, but the release never coming. It has the impact of keeping you on edge, waiting, waiting. To be able to hold this tension is a major, and uncommon, achievement.

Across the four tracks of the Antique EP, the two Melbourne based brothers demonstrate that they are musicians of exemplary talent, but their chops never get in the way of the music. There is not a single moment of posture – every sound serving the song. Even signal processing is left behind, leaving drums and dry guitar to underpin the voices, or harmonium and organ to do the trick on the live ‘Turning’. Only reverb makes its presence felt, adding a lushness to the layered voices. The guitar is terse and minimal, as are the drums. The vocals, and particularly their harmonies, are the main drawcard, to the point that ‘Under A Winter Sun’ eschews backing all together and gives two and a half minutes of pitch perfect a cappella. The voice sometimes hints at grunge leanings, some of the graininess of Curt Cobain or even The Tea Party’s Jeff Martin, minus the histrionics. Lyrics tend towards the metaphysical. “I plant myself inside your veins/They are, they are now my home/And there go, there go my unborn children’s voices/Above this dust, above this dust we will now reside” from ‘Anchoring The Hands’ hinting at both the personal and universal intertwined. Subtle elements, such as the hints of beautiful arabic and flamenco melodic trails of ‘Distance’ and ‘Turning’ add to this pan-humanist leaning.

There’s a few bands I’ve been hearing of late (who tend to be Melbourne based) – Absolute Boys and I Dream In Transit being two examples – who are stripping rock down to very basic sonic elements and then building up a new lushness through clever layering and repetition of the simple components. Add to that list A Dead Forest Index who, on the evidence of this EP, could be one of the best exponents of the style.

Adrian Elmer - Cyclic Defrost

"Mess & Noise review"


A Dead Forest Index
4 Track, EP (2010, Independent)
Related: A Dead Forest Index.

Easily standing out amid a crowded marketplace, Melbourne’s A Dead Forest Index wears its uniqueness quietly and humbly. There’s nothing showy or bombastic about the musical duo of brothers Adam and Sam Sherry. The most dramatic thing the band does is litter a venue with candles when playing live, a touch that underscores the late-night atmosphere of its songs. On this second EP, the self-taught multi-instrumentalists stoke a gothic vibe while meditating over lyrics influenced more by Blake and other long-dead poets than anyone in rock. All of which makes the music seem, well, a bit like an antique.

Culled from recording sessions in Auckland intended for an album, the first three songs establish the duo’s minimal, choral palette. There’s no bass, drums only on the first two tracks, and sparing portions of guitar, organ, and other instruments. What takes centre stage, then, is Adam’s voice. On ‘Distance’, he begins with utter flatness before growing frayed enough to recall Kurt Cobain, of all people. His interest in repetition is clear early on, dwelling on the phrase “endlessly illuminated” and treating other vague, image-evoking lyrics with similar reverence. As soon as we get comfortable with this almost pop entry, it alters course to hang on two repeated phrases, eerily interwoven. Adam’s vocals carry a whiff of androgyny here, and between that and his lyrics, the song is at once catchy and arcane.

The a cappella ‘Under a Winter Sun’ is wide and open, commanding attention with harmonies and layered lead vocals alike. It sounds as if it could’ve been recorded in a castle. Captured live at a gig – not that you’d know it – ‘Turning’ is mostly comprised of a sustained harmonium hum and Adam’s droning, drawn-out singing. There’s a slight rustle of drums near the end, even as the rest drops away to trail an ambient wisp hanging in mid-air.

The individual elements aren’t so unusual, but the way A Dead Forest Index arranges them makes it all seem unearthly. The same goes for this entire EP, a quick yet lingering introduction to one of our country’s most interesting young bands.

By Doug Wallen

- Mess & Noise

"Live 2010 NME"

(Live) http://www.nme.com/artists/a-dead-forest-index - NME

"Einstein Music Journal Antique EP Review"

Turning The Distance Into A Pattern

Adam and Sam Sherry have been sitting on these songs for about a year now, having recorded a full album’s worth of material at Auckland’s York Street studios in October 2009. Finally they’ve made the decision to release a new EP, using three tracks from the York St sessions and a live recording of their song ‘Turning’.
The four tracks carry on A Dead Forest Index’s dark, ethereal vision, combining heavy drum beats and layered vocal patterns to form haunting saturnine melodies. ‘Anchoring The Hands’, previously posted here on EMJ, begins as a chugging pop song before Adam Sherry’s voice is put into a spiralling loop, repeating two poetic phrases simultaneously. ‘Under A Winter Sun’ is a brilliant piece of vocal tapestry, with vocals layered on top of each other like building blocks creating a powerful church-like chant. New single ‘Distance’ is where the brothers combine, through a series of fiery metaphors. You can hear the determination in Adam’s voice as he becomes more impassioned as the song progresses, before fading out via a beautiful melodic hum.
A Dead Forest Index’s latest EP, Antique, can be purchased via Bandcamp for just $4.

Posted by Nick Fulton


- Nick Fulton / Einstein Music Journal

"Who The Hell? Antique EP Review"


A Dead Forest Index - ‘Under A Winter Sun'

A Dead Forest Index – ‘Turning’

I posted about ADFI almost exactly a year ago. I was pretty blown away when I first heard them and was intrigued as to what they’d eventually sound like on their debut EP/album. Fortunately, they haven’t changed things up to much. Given that their songs are so melodic and potentially catchy, I’m impressed that they’ve kept things sparse and downbeat. As with their earlier song ‘Empty The Dark I Shall Raise My Lantern,’ these songs have ended up sounded almost like a field recording of a religious ceremony, with the layers of chanting harmonies sounding almost ritualistic.

The above songs are a mixture of sweetness and foreboding. Singer Adam Sherry has been gifted with a voice that is simultaneously both choral and haunting and he definitely knows how to play to it, as proven on the above and the rest of his band’s debut EP (out next week). I get a real ‘Children Of The Corn’ vibe when I listen to A Dead Forest Index. I like that. I wish more bands reminded me of 80s horror movies.

Posted by: Matt Hickey / Who The Hell? - Matt Hickey / Who The Hell?

"Laneway Interview"

Talking to Adam Sherry, one half of brother-brother outfit A Dead Forest Index, confirms something that I’d suspected after seeing the band perform live. He is a temporal oddity, seemingly displaced within the technological, commerce-driven hyper-farce of the 21st Century.

But let’s take a step back for a moment. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of witnessing ADFI, the band itself defies easy categorisation. A solemn melding of 19th Century-style poetic lyrics with minimalist guitar and percussion; Sherry’s hushed vocals are pushed through a loop pedal to create angelic harmonies. There’s an irreverent atmosphere at the live show – darkness is broken with candle light. Sherry lists the Newtown Workers Club amongst his favourite venues.

“The sound in there is pretty good and it’s a nice room where you can create your own atmosphere. It’s nice at the workers club because we can litter the place with candles and they don’t mind.”

Far more in tune with modernism than the prevailing culture of postmodernism, Sherry talks of the importance of taking influence outside of music. “I think it’s very important … If you just listen to a lot of records, there are so many imitation bands out there. Someone like William Blake, it’s another world.” He cites living in London near Blake’s grave and various other historic, cultural tombstones as being key to his formation as an artist. He’s quick to assert that there is a commonality between all art – looking beyond your given forte allows you to transcend imitation and pastiche.

“I listen mostly to classical music, away from what we’re doing, otherwise we’d turn into a replica of someone else.” Some might label this pompous or arrogant, but there is no sense of judgment in his words, just the careful tightrope walk of creativity and a personal drive to keep some sense of purity.

Such lofty ambitions could seem overwhelming when placed on the shoulders of a simple two piece, however Sherry is almost unaware of such limitations, talking loosely of expanding his younger brother Sam’s duties from drums to other instrumentation, or including friends on cello or guitar, to build a wall of sound.

“It’s been limiting in a good way, it’s stripped back all the unnecessary layers at the start. It’s made us find our sound and now we can expand on that.”

Both members are self-taught multi-instrumentalists, but Sherry is humble about his own talents. “I have the guitar playing skills of a twelve year old boy. [Being self taught,] it becomes more instinctive, you don’t get locked into patterns, but then it can be limiting when you don’t have that training to expand.”

Having also lived in Auckland and London, the Sherry boys have a unique perspective on the Melbourne music scene. “The music scene here is more cohesive and it’s more like you can see it, in London it’s very competitive, when you’re first starting out it’s very hard to play shows unless you know the right people. There’s a small scene in Auckland but Melbourne has been a wonderful place to develop, for us.”

Coming from this somewhat nomadic background, it’s not surprising that the boys decided to record abroad, Sherry describing the recording process for their debut EP, Antique, as “fragmented”.

“We recorded in New Zealand with a view to making a record but we didn’t quiet finish everything. We got a bunch of songs finished and tried to reopen them back here but it’s really hard to do that so basically this EP is from those sessions in New Zealand.” As things stand A Dead Forest Index plan to record their first album early next year, as well embarking on a few tours.

ADFI launches Antique at the Newtown Workers Club on October 15, alongside co-headliners I Dream in Transit. - Laneway Magazine

"Northcote Social Club review"

The first thing evident about A Dead Forest Index is the originality of their music in contrast to the majority of other current artists. Where most modern bands play on Post Modernity-collecting influences and make a pastiche of them, A Dead Forest Index refute this simple clause of additions. It isn’t that their influences can’t be heard-from William Blake and Leonard Cohen to Nirvana, just that their music is far more than the sum of its parts. The only band that strikes me as in any way similar is The XX and even this is somewhat of a stretch. Post modernity has added valued aspects to art but like all great cultural movements, it has become stagnant and must be replaced with something new. Small though they are A Dead Forest Index lead the way in the formations of this move. In accordance with this is the impressive size of the crowd, considering the relative obscurity of the band.
Standing in silent awe of what plays out before them, there is an air of dark awakening in the air; from the tea candles adorning Adam Sherry’s guitar amp, to the general concert hall feeling of the Social club. Through Sherry’s lyrics one can’t help but be reminded of the bleak beauty of the Victorian era, circa Oscar Wilde, while his guitar work recalls more 20th century minimalist influence, like Victorian grunge or musical Steam Punk. The band progress easily between the slower tracks and more aggressive numbers, in which Sam Sherry relishes building from his refined drum work. Anchoring The Hands is a perfect example of Adam’s choir boy like vocals which can seem both angelic and malevolent as he builds loops and harmonies crying out “Echo, echo my unborn children’s voices.” The closing number sees Adam take to a harmonium, lending to the feeling of a medieval or Eastern requiem before returning for a single encore; an emotive song on which Adam lays down his guitar in favour of simple vocals and drums. An extremely worthy band to carry music forward into the new decade.

Faster Louder 4/3/2010

- Faster Louder

"Einstein Music Journal Ep review"

Adam Sherry composes harrowing and goosebump-inducing music under the name A Dead Forest Index and plays this live with his equally talented artist brother Sam. Reverb-heavy drums and gently droning guitar wash throughout the EP. With heart-wrenched vocals outpouring poetic lyrics in pained delivery, Sherry produces an incredibly impressive, riveting and original listen. From the opening/title track’s eerie anguish to the more densely hypnotic grunge sound of Dust Caught In Light, his soft, angelic voice remains the highlight. Sherry has the uncommon ability to marry catchy riffs with untouched, otherworldly and original song writing ideas. His songs are beset with emotions, most notably anguish, and the songs are made with an ancient quality that seems to stem from a possible fascination with ancient folklore and storytelling. It has a hint of gypsy curse and impoverished traveler about it, as bells jangle softly and backing vocals sigh and organs howl faintly. It is akin to a religious experience in listen, with the underlying feeling of all of the songs being like an inexplicable, beautifully moving force. A strange flute calling in the end of final song Paint The Sixth is a perfect unexpected accompaniment. The only fault I can find with the whole EP is that it is too short. Three tracks long, it demands repeated listens as the stories unfold the more you hear them. The anguish and despair gradually wear away as the wash of beautiful music makes things clearer and ultimately so grand you cannot ignore it or leave it and must listen to it again. Maybe therein lies the curse; once you start listening to it you may never stop, such is the great quality of Sherry’s songs, and the unique aura he creates with each. Future releases from this upcoming Melbourne-based multi-media artist will be met with great excitement. Buy this EP!

- Einstein Music Journal


October 2010 / Antique EP

November 2009 / Empty and Dark I Shall Raise My Lantern



Melbourne based brothers Sam and Adam Sherry form haunting, dischordal, two piece A Dead Forest Index. Their songs are pulled from another time, from fragments of dreams, ancient landscapes and long travels.

A Dead Forest Index have just completed a collection of four songs titled Antique, expanding on their minimalist, layered live performance to create an EP that is ambitious in contrast and depth. A wash of voices sung in rhythmic patterns sit in a world of reverb, held together by delayed guitar and percussive drums. Ever-ascending, Antique brings to life a sound that is strikingly original and sincere.