The Forest Wall
Gig Seeker Pro

The Forest Wall

Frederick, Maryland, United States

Frederick, Maryland, United States
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


Our buddy Igor Makhlin, AKA SAUR, wanted to introduce us to his best friend Derek Salazar, and his sister Amanda Salazar who make music as The Forest Wall. Their debut collection is five gripping, melodic tracks that manage to illicit emotion while retaining a levity that pairs well with warm evenings. Their EP, entitled “the EP”, is available now via The Forest Wall’s Bandcamp (including a remix by the aforementioned SAUR), and if you’re into tangible releases, those can be had here…
- Aerial Noise


If you love something, let it go.

Sometimes, you need to walk away from your passions. I spend the majority of my time immersed with music, whether I’m driving, working, sleeping, eating, or just dedicatedly enjoying some tunes. But throughout the past few months or so, I’ve been getting less and less enjoyment from the same old songs and bands I usually have in rapid rotation (The Antlers being a notable exception). So about a week ago or so, I came to the realization that I need to turn off the music for a while and let my innards sort themselves out. (Hence, the lack of DJ Echoes postings on 1146).

If it comes back to you, its yours forever.

This rather disappointing condition makes my discovery of The Forest Wall all the more exciting. A serendipitous series of events a year or two ago led to a message in my inbox proclaiming the debut release by a new project based in Maryland. Curiosity bested my current music hangover, and I’ve had the song “Canon” stuck in my head ever since. A refreshing, organic tune, “Canon” hovers somewhere in the realms of folk, post-rock, and experimental indie without ever settling in one specific genre. The opening, staggered “OOooOOooOOoo”‘s attract attention while the melancholic melodies and harmonies hook you for repeat listens.

If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be.

Judging by just one song, The Forest Wall couldn’t have a more accurate name; the music straddles the line between an excellent use of familiar tones and techniques, and a uniqueness that requires deeper exploration in the trees (though I guess the metaphor would be reversed if you were raised a grizzled, wood-chopping mountain man). I can’t wait for the EP to arrive on my doorstep, which you can still pre-order at http://theforestwall.bigcartel.com/. Also, feel free to like ‘em on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Forest-Wall/136299033083071. Though I’m still not yet out of my music slump, it’s good to know that I can get a fix when a heavy crave strikes. Many, many thanks Forest Wall. - 1146 Miles


The Forest Wall, a project started by Amanda and Derek Salazar in Washington D.C., has released their first EP independently today. The record consists of five original songs, all built around the siblings’ unique voices and distinct knack for interesting instrumentation. The EP opens with “Canon” (the stop-motion video for which can be seen at the bottom of this review), a track that’s full of atmospheric electric guitar work and steady programmed drums. The track is bookended by synthesized melodies that highlight the sparse beauty of the song’s verses and choruses.
“Does it Make a Sound?” is similarly experimental. By far the most energetic song of the set, “Does it Make a Sound?” has big guitar riffs and a shifting arrangement that displays the duos ability to successfully manipulate timing and create interesting rhythmic textures. The song closes with a heavy drumbeat and fading, distorted vocals that are as enjoyable as they are surprising.
The EP mellows with “Spanish Skies,” a haunting duet that showcases each singers’ distinct vocal delivery. Amanda Salazar’s voice is left unaccompanied at the song’s opening, marking the one of the record’s most beautiful and emotional moments.
“Suitcase Son” opens with panned guitars, each panning to the left and right until Derek and Amanda’s voices begin trading lines. The song builds at a slow churn until about the halfway mark when thundering drums and circuital guitar lines mark a climactic turn in the song. After the instrumental break, the duo’s voices return, singing the line “Unpack your suitcase, son, it’s time for you to stay.” This song stands as the centerpiece of the record, a piece that the rest of the tracks build to.
The EP closes with “In The Pines.” The song is left intentionally gritty, retaining a grainy, lo-fi quality. This track again highlights Amanda’s strength as a vocalist, containing the most aggressive vocal delivery on the EP. The track barely breaks the two-minute mark, and serves as an understated close to a more than satisfying record. The Forest Wall shows their limitless potential through this EP, displaying a real passion for their craft. This debut EP is worth listening to not only for the exciting sounds that it contains, but also as an impressive introduction to a group that is bound to release interesting and thoughtful music in the future. - Tri State Indie


What's immediately striking about The Forest Wall's debut extended play, The EP, is that from the moment the beautiful and elegant electronically layered and enhanced vocal harmonies of Amanda Salazar fluctuate with precision on the opening track; you're able to hear the candid sincerity and unrelenting emotion within every individual note played and lyric sung thereafter. What makes this debut release from The Forest Wall all the more impressive is the fact that it was written, engineered, mixed and eventually produced entirely by the band themselves. To capture such a beautiful and captivating atmosphere is a testament to their musical abilities and prowess. The project was carefully and painstakingly written over the course and duration of the year from locations varying between Pennsylvania and Washington, DC - but it seems somewhat fitting that after covering such a distance in order to gather the necessary inspiration it took to write the record, the siblings then chose to record this enchanting five-track release enclosed in the inner sanctums of their Frederick, Maryland based apartment. Elapsing at slightly over an eighteen minute duration, The EP proves to be a luscious listening experience built firmly upon the foundations of intelligent songwriting, thought-provoking lyrics, lovely harmonic interchangeable male/female vocals, and rich, vibrant textures and arrangements.

The album opens on a positive minor key note with the sensational "Canon", featuring an introduction consisting of female vocal overdubs and brooding harmonization. It doesn't take a prolonged amount of time before the vocal effects dance and weave out of the mix in order to be replaced with prominent and graceful melancholic inducing guitar tones and captivating piano notes. There's the odd rhythmic drumbeat entangled in the instrumentation, but rather than hinder the balance of the arrangements and structures that have been implemented, it creates a blissful, beautiful and emotionally cascading cinematic sequence of music. Derek Salazar's deep vocals soon enter into proceedings in a seamless fashion as though he's mastered the art and technical aspect of allowing his vocals to gently float mesmerizingly on top of many a haunting, slow-tempo ballad. Without doubt, the chorus is where the track begins to soar and blossom with all the cadence and conviction it can possibly generate and muster. The siblings each take turns to sing various lines before eventually overlapping and intertwining flawlessly- it culminates in irresistible interplay induced melodies rising high over the top of cryptic wordplay. "And we walk alone / somehow we found some comfort along this open road / and we walk alone / we'll find what it takes to earn the right to call this life our own".

"Does It Make A Sound?" serves as an intricate balance between indie/pop and a slight tantalizing hint at an ambient and atmospheric texture. No sooner does the initial second elapse before Amanda Salazar's vocals can be heard waltzing and flowing throughout the opening verse. The chorus once again proves to be the highlight while showcasing The Forest Wall's effortless knack for capturing gorgeous and irresistible melodies. As the track progresses, the instrumentation gradually has more prominence and there are noticeable, slightly distorted eerie hymn-like harmonies ever present in the background. Arguably the most enduring aspect of the track is in how well the two distinctive and unique vocal deliveries complement one another as the two voices sing in contemplative unison, "If a tree falls down and no one is around to hear it / tell me, does it make a sound?". The harmonies are certainly a redeeming quality, and some of the best of the year can be heard, and are featured throughout the duration of The EP.

"Spanish Skies" and "Suitcase Son" succeed in slowing down the tempo to a bare, calm and descending minimum. The former in particular is memorable for its elegant strumming patterns and finger-picking acoustic guitar techniques. During certain sections of the song you can hear barely audible disturbances in the background such as the flicking of switches and various other recording measures taking place as Amanda Salazar delivers arguably her finest vocal performance you're likely to hear on the record. It's a lovely reminder as to the authenticity of the production and the careful approach these musicians took to crafting a body of work to this wonderfully high standard and quality. During the middle portions of the track, we're treated to a brief interlude of piano and swift strings both vying for supremacy before the attention is once again switched back to the dual vocal technique that serve the duo well. "Suitcase Son" expands on the same formula but also features a fluctuating tempo that explores the softer elements of a stirring ballad through to a sound reminiscent of moderately heavy riffs and pulsating drumbeats.

The one slight misstep is album closer, "In The Pines". It's not that it's a bad track, but it gives the impression of being left unproduced and unpolished which comes as somewhat of a surprise when compared to the previous four tracks that came before it. However, it is a lovely moment to hear vocals crack with strain and tension during the higher and more strenuous notes. The Forest Wall are vastly unknown at this relatively infant stage in their music career, but one can only hope that they're looking at continuing this musical project and endeavor well into the future. The talent is certainly there, as is best exemplified by the contents within The EP. Now they just need an audience, and I'm sure they'd be delighted and appreciative if you happened to be one of them. - Absolute Punk.net


Discography

"the EP" was released 8/2/11, and is currently streaming and reviewed at AbsolutePunk.net, Aerial Noise, 1146 Miles, Tri-State Indie, Bandcamp, TheForestWall.com, Facebook, and Soundcloud.

Photos

Bio

Two siblings, Amanda and Derek Salazar, formed The Forest Wall in 2010 in hopes of creating an outlet for their musical ventures.

"For as many experiences as we have shared together, and for as close as we are, music was something of an independent outlier in our relationship. But recently, it’s seemed more natural than anything to start creating together. We weren’t entirely sure what The Forest Wall would be, what type of music we would be making, or how we were going to do it, but as time progressed, an ethereal, yet urgent, honest take on independent rock began to take shape: and we liked it.

Originally from Philadelphia, we are currently residing outside of DC."