After touring Canada for several years, moving 1000 miles between Prince Edward Island and Toronto and back, playing in bands, and a four-year silence, Peter Forbes is finding his feet again as a songwriter. While he played a more straightforward brand of rock and roll in the past, he found inspiration in the world of Scottish indie-pop with bands like Belle & Sebastian and Camera Obscura. The result is a dramatic mellowing and relaxing feel that makes the EP Love is All Around good for listening to late at night.
This EP is the result of a couple of years recording whenever he had the money. For the most part, Forbes handled all of the drums and guitars on the EP, a decision that can often result in a rhythmically weak sound but he handles the rhythm section quite well. He gets help with background vocals from his sister and local musicians Jon King and Blu Gillis cover the rhythm section on "My Love For You.”
My immediate impression of Peter Forbes' latest EP was that it reminded me of The Magnetic Fields. The opening track feels like it would have been at home on 69 Love Songs. And the telling sign that I really enjoyed this is that I ended up just listening for a while and forgetting that I'm supposed to be writing a review of this! "My Love For You" has a Neil Young meets Belle & Sebastian vibe to it that helps with the slightly trite lyrics. Forbes has done a great job at creating arrangements for his songs that don't get in the way of the songs themselves. There isn't any more going on in each track than there needs to be. Each song feels both new and familiar, most likely due to the lo-fi pop sound that flows through each track on the EP. The last song, "Life Preserver" reminds me of a band that almost doesn't exist, they stay so well under the radar, called King Radio.
My favorite aspect of these songs, though? They aren't long and drawn out like a lot of psychedelic music tends to be. Each song is only as long as it needs to be in order to say what it has to say. The songs are made more special by this brevity, making you want to listen to them on repeat to listen for something you might have missed.
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