Forrest Hill
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Forrest Hill

Napa, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Napa, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter

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The recent release ShadowLight by Forrest Hill is one of those albums where you can tell how much thought and work was put into it. Hill fills this album with layers of instrumentation but it never feels like he’s stuffing too much in. On top of the standard rock format of guitars, bass and drums you are greeted with instruments like flugelhorn, cello, saxophone, keys and dedicated background vocalists.

​Hill is an accomplished musician who was apparently influenced by legends like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, The Talking Heads, The Beatles and Paul Simon. The artist that actually came to mind was Father John Misty. I thought the vocals sounded similar and even more importantly the emotional resonance from the songs felt similar.

I loved how this album presented so many different approaches to a song but it still felt cohesive. This is something I mention quite often and this is an example of the album the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

The album gets started with “Everything Lost” which is arguably the most single worthy song on the album. It didn't take me long to appreciate the vocals. Once the orchestral strings came into the mix I was completely on board. The song feels so heartfelt and sincere.

“Still Crazy Over You” was even better. This song has a funky, Motown vibe with classic old school vocal harmonies, horns and organ. “Cold Rain’s Coming” has a great groove. The ascending vocal harmonies, guitar work and well everything is so on point.

The fantastic songs keep coming with the warm and reflective love song “Like a Fire” and the more melancholy “Birds Fly To Heaven.” If you twisted my arm I might say “Circle of Life” was my favorite song on the album because of the infectious hopeful feeling it instills in your core. As the album progressed I can’t say I found a song that came close to being a dud. The closer “One Better” is a tearjerker but in a motivational, reflective look back at your life type of way.

Well this is an album that has not gotten its due. It true. Unfortunately most pop music doesn't have this much soul and human emotion in my opinion. This is an album that I think plenty of people will appreciate. So spread it around if you liked it as much as I did. Highly recommended.
official website - Divide & Conquer


I hold nothing against bands, but there’s something special when a sole artist gets the chance to pour his/her heart and soul into a work of his own. Of course, most of the time he will get the help from a series of other creative forces that will work with such artist to enhance the vision in a unison to take it into higher grounds. So maybe, a push it’s always welcome?

Shadowlight by Forrest Hill its more than an album, it’s a journey throughout history told through the chords of a guitar, the range of a singer and lyrics of a songwriter. The album takes us back into the days of Post-Vietnam US, a time where the few remains of the Summer Love era still were somehow present in the arts and how many, like himself, took the suffer and turn it into something much positive, less cynical to change the world. Many musicians claim to be influence by a certain number of genres, but only a few of them actually pull it as good as Hill does on this record as he takes the best of Motown and Funk, blending them together into this memorable tunes. You can hear some hints of Talking Heads, Mamas and Papas and Paul Simon while at the same time, if you carefully pay attention you get the chance some of the artist.

However, and that takes me into the unfortunately negative thing about this record, and is the fact a few listeners may feel these songs are way too similar to other classic bands. And while there has always been the case of many other bands sounding like their predecessors, I can see many people getting annoyed by this in a period where people are somewhat getting tired of the same ole, same ole even though that same ole hasn’t been around for years.

Aside from that, in the end, Shadowlight is a record comprised of some touching ballads, Folks melodies and great use of background vocals as Forrest Hill dives himself into the deepest corners of his mind, encountering with his old soul and bringing it back into surface in a 12 tracks material. Those who are deep into the nostalgia of the hey days of Rock and Roll and Roots music might find this album very touching and delightful. - Vents Magazine


Forrest Hill is de naam van een singer-songwriter uit de San Francisco Bay Area die in 1980 medeoprichter was van de funkrockgroep ‘Judy’s Tiny Head’ uit Boston, Massachusetts. In 2016 besloot hij een solocarrière te lanceren met de release van zijn debuutplaat “Rust” waarop hij Americana-nummers brengt, gekruid met een snuifje folk en indie rock. Dat album kreeg behoorlijk positieve respons en gaf hem de moed en inspiratie om aan de songs voor een tweede plaat te gaan werken.

Die is er nu gekomen in de vorm van het 12 liedjes tellende album “Shadowlight” waarop Forrest Hill zingt en gitaar speelt, terwijl hij bij de opname werd bijgestaan door Mark Clifford op piano en keyboards, Max Judelson op bas en Jason Slota op drums voor de traditionele instrumenten bij hedendaagse muziek. Verder zijn er de blazers Ross Eustis op trompet en Adam Hirsch op saxofoon, terwijl Crystal Pascucci haar bijdrage aflevert op cello en Forrest Hill’s echtgenote Erika en haar zussen Chloe en Rachel Tietjen (samen aka folktrio ‘T Sisters’) voor de backing vocals bij deze nummers zorgen.

De funky sound van zijn vroegere band zit ook nu nog in enkele tracks op “Shadowlight”, zoals bij “Cold Rain’s Coming”, “Still Crazy Over You”, “Real Thing” en “Free”. Daarnaast zijn er enkele knap gebrachte indie rockballads zoals opener “Everything Lost”, “Like A Fire” en “Birds Fly To Heaven”. Verder kunnen songs als “Circle Of Life”, “Anything Can Happen” of het aan Ben Folds’ pianoliedjes herinnerende “Let’s Fall Down” (te horen op bijgaande audio-video) als moderne en catchy popsongs omschreven worden. Het afsluitende liefdesliedje “One Better” hebben we hier nog niet vermeld, maar het blijkt bij nader inzien wel onze favoriete track te zijn op dit heel knappe album “Shadowlight” van deze Forrest Hill. - Rootstime


Forrest Hill grew up in Detroit and eventually moved to Boston where co-founded the funk rock band Judy’s Tiny Head (JTH). A band which performed with the likes of Violent Femmes, Run DMC, Deborah Harry, Paul Young and Aimee Mann, and record with famed music producer Teddy Riley. After earning a PhD, Forrest resettled in Northern California and in 2016 released his first solo album “Rust”. The album received heavy airplay on college radio throughout the country and garnered TV licensing agreements. Forrest Hill has just released his brand new twelve song album entitled “ShadowLight” from which he plans to release several singles during 2018.

With this, his second full length solo album, Forrest Hill succeeds in meeting the requisite criteria of his most direct influences and has crafted an album sure to appeal to those enamored with the indie folk scene. It’s a bold, declarative statement that finds the Hill brimming with deserved confidence and assurance. From the outset, everything about “ShadowLight” feels expansive and more fully realized than “Rush”. Yet at the same time it sounds more intimate and personal.

Where “Rust” possessed a somewhat louder element of sameness in both its crunchier production and faster tempos, this recording finds Forrest Hill moving in a number of stylistic directions that, coupled with his lusher, more assured sound, lends an intellectual weightiness to the album that helps imbue it with greater resonance.

On “Everything Lost” Hill sings, “I’m stuck on the outside looking in,” as tales of love, loneliness, relationships and ennui permeate these 12 tracks, adhering to the playbook of American indie-folk tropes.

Having beefed up the production and fleshed out the instrumentation, the sound is substantial, incorporating a host of acoustic and electric instruments, all lovingly swathed in a shimmering sheen of reverb. The horns and organ on “Still Crazy Over You”, the plucked acoustic bass on “Cold Rain’s Coming”, the strumming acoustic guitar on “Like A Fire”, or the melancholy strings on “Birds Fly To Heaven”, are all extremely impactful on the ear. It’s all rather tightly structured as characters and imagery spring to life.

From a narrative standpoint, the album functions in a cinematic way, one that embodies a journey through experiences and emotions in search of something, and finding all variety of trials, tribulations and joys along the way.

There’s a great accessibility to these songs, a concentrated effort at broader appeal through stylistic variance, a strong focus on melodic hooks and rich arrangements, which can be heard on standouts like “Circle Of Life”, “The Great Divide” and “Real Thing”. The songs, while very different between, have an overall magical common denominator which seems to connect them closely.

“Let’s Fall Down” cuts back to a guitar and piano dominated soundscape, embellished with strings and warm vocal harmonies by the T Sisters. There are quite a few instances throughout this album when Forest Hills’ music subtly harks back to his Motown and Funk influences. “Free” is one of those soul-infused moments, driven by a jangling six-string and Hill’s far reaching vocals.

The electric piano pushes the mid-tempo groove of “Anything Can Happen”. Forrest Hill winds the album down with the slower rhythm and plea of making this world “One Better”. You will love every track on “ShadowLight”. The harmonies and beautiful melodic sounds just meld together perfectly and the album is produced to perfection. - Independent Music News 24


Forrest Hill is a indie/folk rock artist who has recently completed his latest album called Shadowlight. Hill is a well-traveled individual who cultivated his unique sound and voice from hitchhiking his way across the United States. He learned a number of things and found an incredible amount of inspiration from the people who touched his life with their stories. He carries these experiences with him and you can practically feel it in his music. Along with him on the album are Mark Clifford (piano, keys, and vibes), Ross Eustis (trumpet and flugelhorn), Adam Hirsch (saxophone), Max Judelson (bass), Crystal Pascucci (cello), Jason Slota (drums), and Chloe, Erika, and Rachel Tietjen (backing vocals).

“Everything Lost” is an incredibly strong opener to Shadowlight. It seems pretty normal, typical even, until the strings come in and give it a new depth. Hill’s voice, while not particularly strong, has an earnest and timeless quality to it that works seamlessly with his sound. “Trapped on the inside, looking out, like a man filled with doubt,” is my favorite lyric from the track. The lyrics as a whole are very impressive, but I especially love that.

My favorite track, “Still Crazy Over You”, is a song about long-lasting love that just won’t fade. It is a light and cute track that makes the listener feel warm and nostalgic. The song is playful and the lyrics are simple in their sweetness in the very best way. The music is funky and gives the song a lot of character that adds to the overall charm. It’s a fantastic and enjoyable track.

I absolutely adore the opening to “Let’s Fall Down”. This song is bittersweet and really showcases the experiences Hill had in his travels through the country. The lyrics are especially beautiful. “There’s a tear in my dresser drawer / Full of fear from a thousand wars / Keep that shame behind an iron door / Afraid to let you in.” Those lyrics are incredibly powerful, and it just gets better from there. It’s a song about healing together. Hill’s voice is especially beautiful in this track, with his signature open sound making the track feel very raw.

“One Better” is the closing track on Shadowlight and it is absolutely beautiful. It feels like a great summation to the remainder of the album, with the gorgeous music and thoughtful lyrics. It is just as heartfelt and honest as the rest. There’s a tinge of sadness, even though the song as a whole has a feeling of hope. That’s a theme through several of the songs- that life is… certainly a challenge at times, but with love it can become far more manageable. That’s an optimistic and beautiful way to look at things.

Forrest Hill has a truly incredible sound. He’s honed his talent well and created a beautiful album. Any indie/folk rock fan should certainly give Shadowlight a listen. It’s true to every genre Hill incorporates while maintaining a very specific flavor that is wholly his own, an impressive feat. - Skope Magazine


Forrest Hill grew up in Detroit and eventually moved to Boston where co-founded the funk rock band Judy’s Tiny Head (JTH). A band which performed with the likes of Violent Femmes, Run DMC, Deborah Harry, Paul Young and Aimee Mann, and record with famed music producer Teddy Riley. After earning a PhD, Forrest resettled in Northern California and in 2016 released his first solo album “Rust”. The album received heavy airplay on college radio throughout the country and garnered TV licensing agreements. Forrest Hill has just released his brand new twelve song album entitled “ShadowLight” from which he plans to release several singles during 2018.

With this, his second full length solo album, Forrest Hill succeeds in meeting the requisite criteria of his most direct influences and has crafted an album sure to appeal to those enamored with the indie folk scene. It’s a bold, declarative statement that finds the Hill brimming with deserved confidence and assurance. From the outset, everything about “ShadowLight” feels expansive and more fully realized than “Rush”. Yet at the same time it sounds more intimate and personal.

Where “Rust” possessed a somewhat louder element of sameness in both its crunchier production and faster tempos, this recording finds Forrest Hill moving in a number of stylistic directions that, coupled with his lusher, more assured sound, lends an intellectual weightiness to the album that helps imbue it with greater resonance.

On “Everything Lost” Hill sings, “I’m stuck on the outside looking in,” as tales of love, loneliness, relationships and ennui permeate these 12 tracks, adhering to the playbook of American indie-folk tropes.

Having beefed up the production and fleshed out the instrumentation, the sound is substantial, incorporating a host of acoustic and electric instruments, all lovingly swathed in a shimmering sheen of reverb. The horns and organ on “Still Crazy Over You”, the plucked acoustic bass on “Cold Rain’s Coming”, the strumming acoustic guitar on “Like A Fire”, or the melancholy strings on “Birds Fly To Heaven”, are all extremely impactful on the ear. It’s all rather tightly structured as characters and imagery spring to life.

From a narrative standpoint, the album functions in a cinematic way, one that embodies a journey through experiences and emotions in search of something, and finding all variety of trials, tribulations and joys along the way.

There’s a great accessibility to these songs, a concentrated effort at broader appeal through stylistic variance, a strong focus on melodic hooks and rich arrangements, which can be heard on standouts like “Circle Of Life”, “The Great Divide” and “Real Thing”. The songs, while very different between, have an overall magical common denominator which seems to connect them closely.

“Let’s Fall Down” cuts back to a guitar and piano dominated soundscape, embellished with strings and warm vocal harmonies by the T Sisters. There are quite a few instances throughout this album when Forest Hills’ music subtly harks back to his Motown and Funk influences. “Free” is one of those soul-infused moments, driven by a jangling six-string and Hill’s far reaching vocals.

The electric piano pushes the mid-tempo groove of “Anything Can Happen”. Forrest Hill winds the album down with the slower rhythm and plea of making this world “One Better”. You will love every track on “ShadowLight”. The harmonies and beautiful melodic sounds just meld together perfectly and the album is produced to perfection. - Video Music Stars


Ein Diamant muss nicht immer veredelt und geschliffen sein, um viel Wert zu sein. …wobei, vielleicht ja doch, wir sind schliesslich keine Geologen. Bei Musik trifft das dann wohl eher zu. Es muss nicht jedes Lied, jedes Album perfekt abgemischt mit Autotune auf der Stimme aus dem Studio kommen. Dass es auch roh funktionieren kann, zeigt uns Forrest Hill in seinem neuen Album Shadowlight. Besagtes Werk könnt ihr euch unter anderem schon einmal hier anhören:

Treibende analoge und dumpfe Drumsets, eine Gitarre, die abgehackte Riffs spielt und ein Walking Bass, der unsere Füße in Bewegung bringt. Shadowlight ist gerade als Album nicht wirklich in ein Genre einzuordnen — vielleicht Indie? Aber das ist auch völlig egal: Mit mal schnelleren, energetischen Tracks im Stichwechsel mit ruhiger, nachdenklicher Musik zum Beim-Busfahren-Aus-Dem-Fenster-Schauen ist Shadowlight schon an und für sich abwechslungsreich genug. Die insgesamt elf Lieder bringen ein Gefühl der Vertrautheit und des Komforts mit sich. Das Ganze ist möglich durch den Chor, der fast jedes Stück begleitet, aber auch die dünne, hohe Stimme von Forrest Hill. Es geht ziemlich leicht von der Hand, den Vergleich mit Alt-J an Land zu ziehen, wobei sich Shadowlight allerdings weniger auf Experimente einlässt. Es ist allerdings völlig OK, bereits bestehende Formen auf so schöne Art und Weise als Inspiration zu nehmen.

Mehr zu Forrest Hill findest du auf seiner Webseite. - Broad Screen


Forrest Hill grew up in Detroit and eventually moved to Boston where co-founded the funk rock band Judy’s Tiny Head (JTH). A band which performed with the likes of Violent Femmes, Run DMC, Deborah Harry, Paul Young and Aimee Mann, and record with famed music producer Teddy Riley. After earning a PhD, Forrest resettled in Northern California and in 2016 released his first solo album “Rust”. The album received heavy airplay on college radio throughout the country and garnered TV licensing agreements. Forrest Hill has just released his brand new twelve song album entitled “ShadowLight” from which he plans to release several singles during 2018.

With this, his second full length solo album, Forrest Hill succeeds in meeting the requisite criteria of his most direct influences and has crafted an album sure to appeal to those enamored with the indie folk scene. It’s a bold, declarative statement that finds the Hill brimming with deserved confidence and assurance. From the outset, everything about “ShadowLight” feels expansive and more fully realized than “Rush”. Yet at the same time it sounds more intimate and personal.

Where “Rust” possessed a somewhat louder element of sameness in both its crunchier production and faster tempos, this recording finds Forrest Hill moving in a number of stylistic directions that, coupled with his lusher, more assured sound, lends an intellectual weightiness to the album that helps imbue it with greater resonance.

On “Everything Lost” Hill sings, “I’m stuck on the outside looking in,” as tales of love, loneliness, relationships and ennui permeate these 12 tracks, adhering to the playbook of American indie-folk tropes.

Having beefed up the production and fleshed out the instrumentation, the sound is substantial, incorporating a host of acoustic and electric instruments, all lovingly swathed in a shimmering sheen of reverb. The horns and organ on “Still Crazy Over You”, the plucked acoustic bass on “Cold Rain’s Coming”, the strumming acoustic guitar on “Like A Fire”, or the melancholy strings on “Birds Fly To Heaven”, are all extremely impactful on the ear. It’s all rather tightly structured as characters and imagery spring to life.

From a narrative standpoint, the album functions in a cinematic way, one that embodies a journey through experiences and emotions in search of something, and finding all variety of trials, tribulations and joys along the way.

There’s a great accessibility to these songs, a concentrated effort at broader appeal through stylistic variance, a strong focus on melodic hooks and rich arrangements, which can be heard on standouts like “Circle Of Life”, “The Great Divide” and “Real Thing”. The songs, while very different between, have an overall magical common denominator which seems to connect them closely.

“Let’s Fall Down” cuts back to a guitar and piano dominated soundscape, embellished with strings and warm vocal harmonies by the T Sisters. There are quite a few instances throughout this album when Forest Hills’ music subtly harks back to his Motown and Funk influences. “Free” is one of those soul-infused moments, driven by a jangling six-string and Hill’s far reaching vocals.

The electric piano pushes the mid-tempo groove of “Anything Can Happen”. Forrest Hill winds the album down with the slower rhythm and plea of making this world “One Better”. You will love every track on “ShadowLight”. The harmonies and beautiful melodic sounds just meld together perfectly and the album is produced to perfection.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – TWITTER – FACEBOOK – AMAZON - JamSphere


If Still Crazy Over You gave us a teasing glimpse into Forrest Hill’s deft musical world, this full album proves to be the wonderful experience that the single hinted at. There is an inherent groove that runs through the songs, most obvious in upbeat numbers such as the politically charged Cold Rain’s Coming and the slow, sassy and sultry blues of Anything Can Happen. But even numbers such as the elegant and minimal Birds Fly To Heaven are pinned down with brooding, majestic cellos and the reflective and windswept Great Divide runs on a gentle beat and dexterous melody.

Forrest Hill proves to be one of those songwriters made in the classic mould, part pop infectiousness, part singer-songwriter intimacy, part 60’s folk revivalist, part…anything he choses to turn his hand too really. In the same what that the likes of Neil Young and Paul Simon (I know I made this connection last time around but I think it really explains what’s going on here) seemed to be bigger than any genre you try to fit them in, so Forrest Hill has that same chameleon-like quality.

This is not so much genre-hopping as genre-melding and the album works so well because of its consistency. Rather than offering a string of songs which fit in and flit through various musical styles, the songs instead to sit in common ground between them.There is rock assuredness, pop accessibility, blues deftness and a whole heap of soulfulness and passion at their heart. The musical ingredients don’t change, just the quantities used and it is this which creates the classic sound.

The fact that Forrest Hill has managed to not only capture all of that on this album but present a suite of songs which passes the ear like a career spanning retrospective or best of collection only makes you wonder what the hell is he going to do next! Whatever it is I’m pretty sure eyebrows will be raised…in a good way…ears will be grateful and arguments to the effect of “they don’t write songs like they used to” will have to quietly go and rethink its thrust. - Dancing About Architecture


Forrest Hill go for a clever style on the sharp indie rock sound of “Shadowlight”. Hard to precisely pin down, Forrest Hill works as a unique hybrid of multiple genres. Over the course of the album Forrest Hill incorporates elements of jazz rock, funk, AM pop, and classic rock into a satisfying swooning whole. Lyricism focus upon a yearning of sorts, a desire for togetherness and something better. Best of all the melodies are pitch perfect, lingering in the mind long after the songs have ended. The entire album works wonders coming together in a sweetly satisfying fashion. Reminiscent of the experimental folk frenzies of the Fleet Foxes, everything about it simply stuns.

The swinging strings mixed with the blues opens the album up in grand fashion with “Everything Lost” sounding akin to a long-lost Grizzly Bear track. Driving rhythms alongside the noir-like keyboards give “Cold Rain’s Coming” a mysterious atmosphere. “Like A Fire” slows the whole thing down considerably. Intimacy pours out of the tender tones of “Birds Fly To Heaven”. A toe-tapping groove emerges on the communal quality of “Circle Of Life”. On “Real Thing” Forrest Hill go for a swaggering, independent spirit. Piano underpins the reflectiveness of “Let’s Fall Down”. Layer upon layer of sound is applied in a masterly fashion on the colorful “Anything Can Happen”. Neatly bringing everything to a close is the soulful “One Better”.

“Shadowlight” shows off Forrest Hill’s undeniable mastery of song craft, with captivating stories that reveal a true penchant for storytelling. - Beach Sloth


Hi Forrest, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been great. Thanks for taking the time to interview me.

Can you talk to us more about your song “Everything Lost”?

“Everything Lost” is the first song off my upcoming album ShadowLight, and I think it sets the tone for the rest of the tracks. It’s a song about hope and redemption. It starts out slow with just voice and acoustic guitar, and then kicks in at the chorus as the protagonist comes to terms with his past. The theme here is that happiness is possible if you are willing to become vulnerable and open your heart to love. Sometimes it takes someone special to come along to shows us our true inner light. That’s what the line “everything lost, I found in you” refers too. I think the arrangement of the song works really well with the words, especially the great cello part beautifully performed by Crystal Pascucci. To me, it gives “Everything Lost” a lush heartfelt sound.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I wrote “Everything Lost” when I was in the town of Mendocino California with my wife Erika. We had only been married for a couple of years and were walking along one of the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Being with her in that beautiful setting was magical – I had this moment of feeling overwhelmed with joy. I remember vividly thinking that before we met I could never have imagined being so happy. And that so much of the happiness I felt was the result of her love and our greater connection. The final chorus line for the song “everything lost I found in you” came into my head and I hummed a few bars to her. When we got home that evening, I sat down with my guitar and pretty much wrote the entire song from start to finish.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We shot a live performance video of “Everything Lost” during one of our recording sessions at Tiny Telephone studios in Oakland. It is a kind of behind the scenes look at the recording process and even has a cameo appearance by our dog Bella (who unfortunately passed away recently). I plan to release this video in the near future. I am currently in discussions with videographer Anton van der Linden, who I worked with in Amsterdam last year to film the Rust video, about producing a video for “Everything Lost” and several other songs off the new album.

The single comes off your new album Shadowlight – what’s the story behind the title?

The word Shadowlight is a metaphorical concept that refers to a shadow produced by a projection of light, rather than the absence of light. To me it evokes the idea of bringing one’s own internal light into a difficult situation to bring hope, love and connection. Many of the songs on the album are about embracing what is difficult in ourselves or society with compassion and kindness in order to see our true goodness and that of others. Shadowlight has a lot to do with being vulnerable, taking risks and having a willingness to hold what we don’t like about ourselves and others with an open heart.

How was the recording and writing process?

I love recording, especially when I get to work with so many great musicians and an amazing engineer like Jacob Winik. Because of the talent level, we were able to record the basic tracks and lead vocals for all 12 songs in about nine days. During this time, I was fortunate to meet the T Sisters who came in and added some amazing background vocals. They are such stars in their own right. After listening to the basis tracks, I decided to add horn parts on two of the songs, “Still Crazy Over You” and “Real Thing,” which turned out great. This is the first time I’ve written for horns and Adam Hirsch (saxophone) and Ross Eustis (Trumpet) came in one day and made the parts sound amazing. The highlight for me, however, was working with Crystal Pascucci and Mark Clifford who created these amazing cello arrangements. The album is full of their ideas and Crystal’s beautiful playing gives a lot of depth to the music. You never know how all these parts will sound until you put them down on tape. That’s when the magic happens and that’s what makes recording so great.

The writing process for me is more of a solo affair. I usually sit in our living room with just an acoustic guitar and a pen. A lot of times I simply start noodling around on the guitar and if I find something I like, begin to sing the first thing that comes to my head. A lot of times it’s nonsense, but occasionally a good line or two will come out and this will be the genesis for the lyric of a song. Once I have an idea of where the song is going I put more effort into the lyrics until they are done. Then I turn my attention to the arrangement and how I might want to incorporate other instruments. Once I have a road map in my head, I write out some basic charts and get together with the other musicians to fine tune it. Once I’m satisfied and have enough songs together, I then book time in the studio to start recording.

What role does Detroit play in your music?

Growing up near Detroit, I was immersed in the sound of Motown and jazz. When I was in High School I used to love hanging out at the historic Bakers Keyboard lounge jazz club. A lot of my musician friends use to hang out there as well and we would often get together after a show and jam. This gave me a great fondness for free form music and an appreciation for a wide range of musical styles. At the other end of the spectrum was the music I heard coming out of Berry Gordy’s Motown studio. I just loved the tight vocal and string arrangements used by so many of the artists. I think that’s why I like to put as much energy into song arrangement as into song writing. A bad arrangement can wreck a good song, while a good arrangement allows it to soar to its full potential.

Coincidentally, some years later when I lived in Boston and was the lead vocalist and guitarist in the funk rock band Judy’s Tiny Head, I had a chance to collaborate with producer Teddy Riley, who worked with The Jacksons and Stevie Wonder (among many others). It was cool working with someone who had such a deep connection to some of the Motown artists I grew up listening to. Teddy was also the pioneer of the “New Jack Swing” style of R&B. So, he brought this whole new thing to the Detroit sound, which I was lucky enough to experience.

How does Vietnam influence your writing?

During the Vietnam era (including after the war) there was sort of a restlessness in the country. I know for me I couldn’t wait to get out of the house and explore. It seemed there was a lot more trust back then, and I use to think nothing of hitchhiking across the state or down to Chicago when I was only 16. I eventual ended up hitchhiking across the country several times, and even hopped freight trains from Detroit to Portland Oregon. Being on the road, I met a lot of other travelers who played guitar and sang their own songs. So, I began composing songs myself. Traveling became sort of a laboratory for trying out new material on other fellow voyagers on the road. That’s when I got the songwriting bug and it hasn’t left me since.

What aspect of suffering did you get to explore on this record?

In general, most of the songs on the album are a celebration of overcoming suffering. Like the album name ShadowLight, there is a sense that if we can remain positive when facing what is dark and difficult – either through love, compassion, music, or a spiritual connection – we can go through anything and come out the other side whole. Sometimes like in the song “Everything Lost,” you need someone special who can help you along the way, and sometimes you just need the courage to do the work yourself. This is true on the personal level, as well as the social level. One song on the album called “Cold Rain’s Coming” is about what happens to us as a society when we lose sight of our common humanity. It’s one thing to disagree about politics, but when we begin to objectify others as evil or hateful it can tear us appear.

Any plans to hit the road?

I have a few shows scheduled in Northern California. I am also exploring performing in Europe, especially in Amsterdam where I have a lot of musical connections and friends who are encouraging me to come over and perform.

What else is happening next in Forrest Hill’s world?

Currently, I am focusing my energy on promoting the new album, increasing my fan base on social media, building a stronger following on Spotify, YouTube and other streaming platforms, and garner more TV and Movie production deals. I am also working on arranging a bunch of new songs for another album, which I hope to record this fall.

Other than that, I am happy to be spending time at home in Napa California these days with my wife Erika and our new rescue dog Sedona. I am also teaching meditation at Napa Valley Insight Meditation on a regular basis and practicing yoga. - Vent Magazine


“Still Crazy Over You” is an exciting new single from Forrest Hill, taken from the album “ShadowLight.”

Forrest strikes for his penchant for uplifting melodies and rich arrangements, making for a personal and down-to-earth approach. On this track, he makes me think of artists such as Paolo Nutini or Jack Johnson, who are also masters at turning simple melodies in emotionally powerful songs that can charm and electrify the audience.

“Still Crazy Over You” is particularly striking due to the song’s amazing brass section, bringing a hint of retro vibes to the music, while remaining modern and appealing. The lyrics are witty and romantic, highlighting Forrest’s songwriting sensibilities and unique perspective. This is ultimately a perfect feel-good number, which will certainly make for a sunny moment even on the greyest of winter days.

Find out more and listen to “Still Crazy Over You” and other releases from Forrest:
https://soundcloud.com/forresthillofficial - The Bandcamp Diaries


Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Forrest Hill had begun writing music while out on his travels, seeing things that were dear, scarce, and decided these experiences he would take on; to provide a more inspirational approach with his music creativity. Hence forth, his latest album "Shadow Light" would see the release of the track "Still Crazy Over You".

When the track beings, it brings out a feeling of a past era, that belonged in the 70's to 90's. It is as if, the vocalization and instrumental portions worked in this time frame on purpose. That is just how likely this track belongs in those time slots really. Like how the vocals play against the instruments, the beat grooves onward, sounding very catching, when listening. It becomes harder to place in terms of comparisons, Forrest Hill just has a flare going on that makes his music pop!

In terms of the context of the track that is "Still Crazy Over You", it goes into the category zone to that of love, romance pretty much. A song of yet another fella being overly in love, if not obsessed with loving this female person. It becomes quite graphic but not in a crazily overdramatic fashion, more or less disclosing that expressing the love is so much there, it needs to be said in shortcomings at times.

If that is not enough, the track overly expresses itself with its tone of beat. The melody is just so drawing that it can become overly catching, that you find it overpowering at times. It easily becoming a track that never wants to end. For the most part, Forrest Hill is an artist of talent, emotion, and flawlessness. His way with music creation is just unforgettable that you want to forget you ever heard of his works in the first place. But that being a good thing, because you will find joy in this track, as well as his other material to come from "Shadow Light" and previous content as well.
"Still Crazy Over You", just being another one of those tracks, by an artist making a name for himself, getting out there, to make something that will stabilize, be remembered for its source material, and music too.

https://www.facebook.com/forrestofficial/ - Nataliez World


Forrest Hill is out with a new single called “Still Crazy Over You” from an upcoming album. It is a soulful and romantic song that is as sweet as it is light-hearted. Hill is a talented musician out of California, who uses decades of connecting with others to influence his music and his overall philosophy in life. You can feel this in every moment of the song, as it’s such an important part of him.

The music is fun, with quintessential 70’s elements that immediately give it a retro sort of vibe. It has a nostalgic quality, but it isn’t overbearing. It immediately gave me very a Fitz and the Tantrums-type feel, from the music itself to Hill’s voice. His voice is light and airy and it matches perfectly with the music. Nothing about “Still Crazy Over You” takes you out of the happy haze it puts you in, which is part of it’s magic.

Audio Stream via Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/forresthillofficial/still-crazy-over-you

If you have a special someone in your life, “Still Crazy Over You” will probably make you think of them. It’s a great song with some gently suggestive themes here and there and more general romantic parts. It is simply a good song that is from one “romantic fool” to his beautiful love, and I for one am a sucker when it comes to that. Fellow hopeless romantics will likely find this honey-sweet song perfectly suited to their tastes.

“When the world is bad / and the news is sad / like teardrops falling from the sky / then you come my way / and brighten up my day / and the goodness of our lives” is such a cute and heartwarming part of this song. It makes me smile each time I listen to it. This is an example of how Hill’s simple lyrics work so beautifully- they get the point across perfectly without it feeling cheap or lazy. Less is more, and that is especially true in the case of “Still Crazy Over You”.

This song has such a timeless charm to it. It’s about a man who still loves his wife just as much as he did years before. It’s the very cutest way to show how time goes on but love can remain as strong and beautiful as it was when it was new and the future was unknown. It’s not the end, either. There’s still so much left to go, but it’s good to take a moment and savor the time you’ve spent and the fact that you’re still so much in love. When the days seem dark, having something this special can make all the difference, and it’s so important not to take it for granted.

“Still Crazy Over You” is a smooth and fantastic love song that is refreshing while having a classic sound that will fondly remind you of some of your favorite artists. It’s a song worth checking out, as is Forrest Hill’s other work. He is a dynamic and spectacular artist that deserves the recognition.

http://forrestofficial.com/

Victoria Patterson - Music Industry News Network


Explore the musical journey of a romantic saga with Forrest Hill, Still Crazy Over You. Listen and Enjoy!

There are various shades of music in this world. Someone uses it to soothe his broken heart, while another one utilizes its charm to instigate a positive change in this world. Forrest Hill is one of those renowned singers and songwriters who has always tried to bring a positive change to his melodious creations. Being a passionate musician he has been creating music for a long time and has crafted a much popular track that is still sung and remembered as musical gems in the industry.

Way back in 1977, Forrest had started writing songs while he traversed the world gaining knowledge and experience. It is pretty obvious that his written words are influence from the experience he had earned all his life. Being a gem of a person, Forrest had always been compassionate about human emotions and suffering. Using music as his battle weapon, he has always tried to bring a positive change in human psychology and the awful societal norms.

The new track, ‘Still Crazy Over You’ is recently released from the album Shadow Light, which has already gained popularity among his fans and followers. Based on the human expression of intense love, this song is just another of the brilliant creations of him. Proficient in Folk, Indie Rock, and Americana, Forrest has composed this song in an amalgamated version of various genres. Beginning over the vibrant notes of a saxophone, the prelude marks an inevitable start to an exquisite journey of vehemence.

The song is strongly based on the expressions of love and relationship which has a natural instinct to touch hearts infallibly. Sung by Forrest himself, the song takes many quick edges as it glides through the various notes in a smooth motion of melodious rhythm. With a background setting on rhythmic drum beats the track starts with the words,’ I like my body, when its next to you, I like your smile when the sun comes shining through.’ Forrest has an amazing texture in his voice which grips the audience in its intoxicating artistry.

The song creates an intense positive ambiance on the stage which symbolizes the bright empathetic nature of love that doesn’t get dull with the increasing negative vibes from the society.’Let’s make love by the window, where the neighbors want to gaze’ is another instance in the single that illuminates the curious nature within the barren society who is always looking around for some meat.In an era, where distrust and uncertainty are given more importance, Forrest brings forth the power of love that can conquer all odds with its strong beam of positivity. The production work is as usual brilliant. Clear audio quality and minimal digital effect enhance the effect of the song for the listener.

Working with many renowned singers in the industry, Forrest Hill has utilized all his knowledge and experience to craft this beautiful melody of all time. Based on a natural theme and strong lyrics, this song projects his unique craftsmanship and talent. The background score aptly matches with the overall fabrication of the song and the ambiance. Crafted with a lot of passion the song is sure to inspire the young mass with its interesting and fun-filled notes. - Skope Magazine


Today we present Forest Hill's song "Still Crazy Over You".
Singer, songwriter and guitarist, Forrest Hill, began writing music while hitchhiking across the country through post-Vietnam America.

After earning a PhD, Forrest resettled in Northern California and in 2016 released his first solo album Rust, and is continuing to release music frequently.

This song is overwhelmingly good. Filled with 70s' vibe, it's smooth rythms and infectious melody will make you an addict for this song. We had to cut the power in the office in order for us to get over this song and continue working on other articles... Just kidding, but yeah it nearly got to this point.

We recommend this track if you like a good Folk song, this is a specially good track for a road trip or for a good evening with your lady. - Music Revolution


The 70’s was a really good time for music, especially when it came to the release of romantic tunes. I feel like the music back in those days were a lot more pure than they are today, and contained lyrics that were typically meaningful and often sentimental. With that being said, it is to no surprise that I think Forest Hill’s “Still Crazy Over You” is unbelievable! Whether it’s the nostalgic vibes that are derived from the colorful instrumental, or the charming vocals laid down by Forest Hill, everything about the track gives off good vibes, and I am truly appreciative of that!

OVERALL RATING (5/5) - The Ratings Game


Forrest Hill goes for a bluesy classic rock with the potent “Still Crazy Over You”. Vivid color reigns supreme over the casual coolness, from the joyous fanfare of the horns to the glistening keyboards. Guitars go for a funky disposition further emphasizing the sweetness of the sound and further adding to the rich tapestry of textures. Best of all are the playful lyrics which reveal in a tale of loss and yearning. All of this comes together into a satisfying whole while the album builds up with such grace and majesty. Riffs, rhythms, these all work in unison to delve into something that explores the lovelorn, those who want for that they once had.



The groove starts up almost instantly, as the piece opens up with a shaggy dog vibe to it. From the low-slung bass to the clever guitar riffs, the song comes into focus quite quickly. Lyrics go for the highly articulate, as they explore an entire way of life. Geography rushes through as everything neatly comes into a perfect kaleidoscope, with the many layers working wonders together. Evolution of the groove is given great importance for everything builds off that steady consistent beat. A degree of passion pours out of the piece towards the final stretch of the song, as everything comes to a head.

Memorable and melodically intricate, Forrest Hill’s “Still Crazy Over You” has a giddiness to it, one that accurately conveys the storytelling gift that ties the whole track together. - Beach Sloth


Si vous nous suivez depuis longtemps ou si vous avez déjà assisté aux nombreux concerts que nous organisons en France et un peu partout en Europe, vous n’êtes pas sans connaître notre goût pour toutes les musiques mais plus particulièrement la musique folk, blues rock. Il faut dire que nous en sommes malheureusement très peu exposé en Europe mais qu’à chaque découverte, cette musique a le don de nous plonger dans un univers et une atmosphère sans égal. Avec son dernier titre plus précisément intitulé Still Crazy Over You, Forest Hill, nous permet ici de faire un détour agréable dans un univers qui vous rappellera sans aucun doute le son de Bob Dylan, une de ses plus grandes inspirations d’ailleurs.

Originaire Napa dans l’état de californie, Forest Hill dont nous venons de découvrir la chanson est un artiste qui réussira sans aucun doute à conquérir votre coeur de mélomane. Savoureux, solaire, Still Crazy Over You que vous pouvez écouter ci-dessous vous fera passer une excellente parenthèse musicale que vous aurez sans aucun doute envie de prolonger en vous intéressant sur son catalogue musical. Vous pouvez d’ailleurs écouter plus de morceaux sur sa page soundcloud.

Nous allons éviter de vous faire une explication de texte concernant les paroles de la chanson, notre niveau d’anglais extrêmement bas ne nous permettant pas ce luxe mais une chose est certaine, pas besoin de comprendre les paroles pour apprécier la musique de Forest Hill.

Notez que la chanson est extraite d’un album intitulé Shadow Light. - Iggy Magazine


There is something wonderfully vaudeville at the heart of Still Crazy….that same musical hall heart which beat at the core of the likes of Randy Newman’s mercurial creations but also the jaunt of the 70’s blue-eyed R&B and a whole swath of classic singer-songwriters from the urban acoustica of Paul Simon to the genre-hopping Ben Folds. It isn’t so much that it is a song built against the grain of fashion, more that it is the product of an artist who doesn’t care for such things, or at least wilfully ignores the rules.

Still Crazy…is brassy, breezy and full of bounce, is invested with humour as well as romance, is gently whimsical and seems to wander between the modern world in the way it is put together but has an approach, especially lyrically which seems from a much earlier time. And it is a real shame that not many people make music like this any more because it is eloquent, making its point without resorting to the usual childish and vacuous pop vocabulary and repetitive over egging. And if the music is cut from good cloth, lyrically it reminds us that you can’t beat a good story and if you are going to musically woo, then the least you can do is put some thought into it. Pop grooves might be the extent of someones pick up line but seductive wit is really where it is at! - Dancing About Architecture


Forrest Hill is as singer-songwriter, recording artist, ecologist, meditation teacher, social entrepreneur and husband.The new album Rust from singer songwriter Forrest Hill, is rooted in the human experience of the spirit. Coming at a time when there is a lot distrust in our society and uncertainty about our future, Rust casts an unflinching eye at the power of love to change hearts and bring wholeness to our lives. Recorded at Tiny Telephone studios in San Francisco, Rust is Forrest’s first solo album and represents a new musical direction, from the jazz/funk style of his past to a softer, more reflective sound. You can hear how different and Unique he is in the making of his music. His new song "Still Crazy Over You" takes you on a journey into his past relationships and how much he really feels for that person at the same time making a song that everyone can relate to.

Forrest began writing music in 1977 while hitchhiking across the country through post-Vietnam America, looking to find the inherit goodness in society. He encountered plenty of suffering along the way, due to poverty and racism, as well as beautiful expressions of the compassionate heart in everyday people trying to make a positive difference in the world. These experiences continue to provide Forrest with lyrical inspiration and have shaped his career choices throughout his life.In 1980, Forrest landed in Boston where he co-founded the funk rock band Judy’s Tiny Head (JTH). They released two successful EPs that included the 1985 single My Car, a rap diatribe on material excess and the human spirit. Produced by William Garrett (now chief engineer at Spotify), My Car enjoyed copious amounts of air play in the Boston area and became a top hit on college radio.

Check out his social media pages at:

http://forrestofficial.com/
https://twitter.com/fhillofficial
https://www.facebook.com/forrestofficial/
https://www.instagram.com/forresthillofficial/
https://soundcloud.com/forresthillofficial - 50/50innertainment


Review by Gary Hill

This album has a pretty good balance between mellower and more powered up pieces. Personally, I think that it could use a bit more range in terms of intensity and tempo, though. It tends to make the set feel just a tiny bit samey. I say that only in the interest of full-disclosure, though, because it's a pretty minor issue. There really is quite a bit of variety. Overall this lands in a retro drenched style with both alternative rock and pop in the mix alongside folk and soul.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018 Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review

Everything Lost
Folk music meets singer/songwriter elements here. The strings add something to the cut and there are some definite alternative pop stylings here, too.

Still Crazy Over You
The horns bring a bit of a jazzy vibe. Overall this is more of a soulful, old school number. There are some hints of alternative pop in the vocals, but this almost feels like something that could have come from Motown.

Cold Rain’s Coming
I dig the cool old school rock and roll side to this thing. It has an alternative rock edge to it for sure, though. The female backing vocals are a great touch. So is the violin.

Like A Fire
Mainstream pop rock with a folk and singer/songwriter vibe is all over this. It's the kind of thing that would work very well on the radio. It's a gentle, slow moving number that's quite pretty.

Birds Fly to Heaven
Speaking of gentle folk music, that's really the concept here. The piano and symphonic strings bring a lot of magic to the arrangement. The song itself is the real shining factor here, though. It poignant and beautiful.

Circle of Life
Although this still has a lot of folk music in the mix, it's probably closest to an alternative pop rock styling. It's catchy, and the strings add something special.

The Great Divide
Another with both folk music and alternative rock at its heart, this has a good energy and catchy hooks. The vibes lend something cool to the cut. I like the guitar solo, too.

Real Thing
The horns are back on this energetic alternative rocker. It's a fun piece of music with a catchy retro-tinged chorus.

Let’s Fall Down
I love the picked guitar and piano that start this number. It has a lot of old school folk rock in the mix. It's an interesting and entertaining piece with a rather stripped back arrangement. It does get some backing vocals and symphonic strings later, though.

Free
This is more purely alternative rock. It's energized and fun. It has a cool vibe to it. And, since that vibes sound is back, that fits in more than one way. There is a cool melodic guitar solo here, too.

Anything Can Happen
Percussion leads this one into being. Then a count in brings us to a soulful kind of retro arrangement. I dig the organ solo on this number.

One Better
A mellow alternative rock meets folk cut ends the set in style. - Music Street Journal


Discography

River Of Stars
Forrest Hill
May 2019

ShadowLight
Forrest Hill
2018

Rust
Forrest Hill
2016

My Car
Judy's Tiny Head (Mark Forrest Hill - Lead Guitar and Vocal)
1985

A Cage Went in Search of a Bird 
Judy's Tiny Head (Mark Forrest Hill - Lead Guitar and Vocal)
1982

Photos

Bio

Singer, songwriter and guitarist, Forrest Hill, began writing music while hitchhiking across the country through post-Vietnam America. He encountered plenty of suffering along the way, as well as people working to make a positive change in the world. These experiences have continued to provide him with lyrical inspiration and shaped his musical career choices throughout his life.

Growing up in Detroit, Forrest grew to love Motown, Funk and Jazz. He eventually moved to Boston and co-founded the funk rock band Judy’s Tiny Head (JTH), which released two EPs including the 1985 single My Car, a rap diatribe on material excess and the human spirit. My Car enjoyed copious amounts of air play in Boston and became a top hit on college radio. JTH went on to performed with the Violent Femmes, Run DMC, Deborah Harry, Paul Young and Aimee Mann and record with famed music producer Teddy Riley.

Forrest has just finished a new twelve song album entitled “River of Stars,” due out in May 2019. The songs incorporate cellos, horns, and background vocals by the fabulous T Sisters to give this indie folk album a lush heartfelt style.

"River of Stars" is the follow up album to last year’s ShadowLight and 2016’s Rust albums. Both albums spent over two months on the college radio music charts and garnered TV licensing agreements on TLC network, The Discovery network, The Netflix series “Bill Nye Saves the World” and several other venues.

Recently, Forrest has received positive critical reviews in the indie press for his ShadowLight alum. For example,

RJ Frometa of “Vent Magazine” writes:

“Shadowlight by Forrest Hill its more than an album, it’s a journey throughout time told through the chords of a guitar, the range of a singer and the lyrics of a songwriter. Many musicians claim to be influence by a certain number of genres, but only a few of them actually pull it off as good as Hill does on [ShadowLight] as he takes the best of Motown and Funk,and blends them together into memorable tunes.”

While Matt Jensen of “Divide and Conquer” writes:

“The recent release ShadowLight by Forrest Hill is one of those albums where you can tell how much thought and work was put into it. Hill fills this album with layers of instrumentation, but it never feels like he’s stuffing too much in. I loved how this album presented so many different approaches to a song, but it still felt cohesive. This is an album that I think plenty of people will appreciate. So, spread it around.... Highly recommended.”

While Forrest’s style is beholden to no single formula, his writing is influence by such artist as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Father John Misty, The Talking Heads, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Munford & Sons and others.

Forrest plans to release several singles from River of Stars before releasing the entire album in late Spring. He hopes to increase his fan base by building on his previous success on college radio, growing a larger following on Spotify, YouTube and other streaming platforms, and garnering more TV and Movie production deals.

Band Members