FROM THE STACKS: Forest Swords


We get a lot of crap CDs at the self-titled offices. But once in a while, a pleasant surprise slips into our promo stack. Here’s a recent delivery that knocked the s/t staff on its collective ass.


The Artist/Album: Forest Swords, Dagger Paths 12” (Olde English Spelling Bee, 2010)

The Vibe: Of all the misguided genre mashups we’ve heard in the past year, ‘dronestep’–a title we first heard tossed around at Aquarius Records–sounds almost as silly as ‘chillwave’. And yet, here we are, falling hook, line and sinker for Forest Swords’ bizarre blend of swampy R&B samples, brutalized beats, and minimal but deeply meditative chords. A profoundly psychedelic experience, in other words, as if the unidentified Brit behind every last note set a portable studio up in the Chunnel that connects his home country to France.

RIYL: Gettin’ Tubby with it; Burial comparisons; bedroom balladry that’s got more to do with the ghosts of Timbaland and Aaliyah than a guy and his guitar