The Forms

The Forms

 New York City, New York, USA
BandRockAvant-garde

Future-tribal dream punk duo from Rockaway Beach / Ridgewood, Queens, NY.

Biography

The Forms live in in-betweens. The NYC-based duo are not rock, pop, or electronic. Alex Tween and Matt Walsh reside in a greater musical landscape, more limitless, and they continue to evade genres while delivering an entirely new sound on their latest release, their third full-length LP titled Native Land.

"It's just another phase I'm going through / Just another path of mine," Tween sings over the glitchy pop perfection of "Southern Ocean," and in a way that sums up their forward-moving creative process.

Naturally defying being boxed in by one sound, the album moves along the radio dial. “The most out there or unique songs are something I’m proud of,” Tween explains, “but both Matt and I are fans of Max Martin, who’s written almost every hit from the past two decades, and we have a few songs that are almost deranged pop songs, like ‘Southern Ocean’ or ‘Head Underwater,’ even though no one in the world would ever think that they are pop songs, but they are super melodic and really tightly structured. So I like those songs, too, for the achievement of doing a Max Martin song in a way no one would ever recognize.”

The album as a whole is visceral but harmonious, it’s where urban meets ocean—a reflection of where they were geographically when they created it. While the previous albums have been largely recorded at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio in Chicago, this time around—aside from a few hours logged there—both Albini and Scott Solter came to New York City, and the recording was done at their homebase in Ridgewood, Queens.

“We did it here… we did this on our own terms and we feel like we never really have done that before,” Walsh explained from his home in Rockaway. “This place was definitely the place… this place is the record. Really, it feels like it.”

There is a ceaseless, borderline-obsessive dedication that seems to drive the duo, forever exploring unchartered territory, while not afraid to revisit the past. In fact, Native Land seems to suggest some sort of subconscious return home. A home that has retained some rawness in a city that changes around it, and has forced many artists to go West. And what they’ve grown there is, at turns, an almost electro-gospel tribute to the landscape.

Their videos accompanying the latest songs are no less reflective of this—they are filled with overgrown fields, patches of dirt, aimless characters and backyard Jesuses. Their music filled with an ark of instruments, including steel drums, a Rhodes piano, an MPC60 sequencer—the latter a pretty ancient instrument in the electronic world, and one that has helped form the base of their latest work.

"This album started with all electronic demos but it was pretty flat and we wanted it to have enough textural depth," Walsh explains,  "because we were looking at it more from the perspective of being a band that has electronics as opposed to what a lot of other people are doing now." This was an idea that the two explored in their 2011 remix EP Derealization, which aimed to deconstruct their previous songs and tear down their past, building it anew. For this, they collaborated with Matt Berninger of The National, Nat Baldwin, Craig Wedren, and others—a roster of musicians so diverse that itself shines light on the band's ability to remain an undefinable unit.

Together they’ve created a dense landscape, which on their latest album is challenging, powerful, new, and still eternally them.




Discography

The Forms - Icarus [LP]
The Forms - The Forms [LP]
The Forms - Derealization [EP]
The Forms - Native Land [LP - Fall 2017]

Set List

1. Black Metal 2. Seagull 3. Transmission 4. Sunday 5. Stravinsky 6. Stel 7. Forward