Future of Forestry:Indie EP in Review. Christian Rock? You decide. Either way, if you don’t know Future of Forestry, now is the time!
Don’t ask me to pronounce the last name of Eric Owyoung. Eric is the primary force for the pseudo band “Future of Forestry.” The band is made up of hired guns that revolve around studio and touring venues at the will of Owyoung; much like the melodic rock version of Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails. The exception is that Future of Forestry includes soothing balladry and less intellectually aggressive allusions to teen angst.
It isn’t necessarily fair to call Future of Forestry Christian rock; although some might refer to them in this manner. The term, Christian Rock,doesn’t fit. What does it mean? The music or the musicians are Christian? And couldn’t any band in ANY genre work as a Christian band? It doesn’t work as a genre, but I guess it works for those who are explicitly Christian rock, which is essentially worship music. But the music of Future of Forestry is subtle, touching, and not fundamentally primed to the tack of being music about Christianity or any organized religion.
It’s music about humanity, and touches on lyrical tropes far and above what most classic and traditional Christian artists would cover (in that we praise and worship and say thanks). Future of Forestry challenges conventions and tackles topics in an informal, realistic setting.
This is most apparent in the band’s “Travel Series.” This is not a rock and roll guidebook to traveling the country. This set of 3 E.P’s chronicles the stages of life and our desire to travel. Not necessarily literally, but emotionally.
The band just released their “Young Man Follow“ E.P. The E.P.follows a story; an adventure of a lover leaving to find their own inner self and returning. This could all be my personal imagination, my sincere though ill attempt to shoe-horn a story and cohesiveness into anything even remotely resembling an album. But the track list and song titles alone offer a mild hint:
Would You Come Home
As It Was
Things That We Should Say
Yes, the EP is a mere four songs, and the only fault is that we wish it would have been longer. But the thematic ties are intact and suitable, and though there may not be a story per se, the fact that I have explored the idea at all and found a lyrical journey is enough to justify this piece of work.
Musically, the album is tight and unrestrained. Would You Come Home remains the strongest, and Chariots follows closely behind. The hooks are idealistic and soaring, and the vocal performance of Eric Owyoung is as strong as anything I have heard on the previously mentioned “Travel Series.” ”As It Was is too slow paced for its own good, relying on keyboard beepboops that sound similar to a heartbeat. Conceptually, it is memorable. Musically, it’s the odd man out.
“Young Man Follow” derails the idea that an EP is a marketing tool of loosely related songs to prepare for a full album. These songs are complete, and play brilliantly off each other. My thought is that Christians will love it. However, the music stands on its own two legs without being stapled into a religion or dogma. They succeed in all aspects and speak to a greater ideal of love and hope than something specifically theocratic. Musically, these songs explore folk, ambient, electronica, and classic alternative rock archetypes for a swirling concoction that can appease the soul of any individual.
Huge thanks to Eric Owyoung, for sharing this great video about the journey of recording this EP.
If you don’t know Future of Forestry, it’s time!
About Ryan Merkel
Ryan Merkel is a writer on music, pop culture, entertainment, business, and all those other fun things which make life tick. He is an entrepreneur, designer, and overall pop culture enthusiast. Ryan owns the clothing line LoveMended with his wife, which focuses on fashion and charity, as well as the music blog CultureTease. Ryan is the author of two novels, and currently lives in Florida.