Thursday, September 17, 2009

Forest Sun - Harlequin Goodnight

What do Americana songwriters write and sing about these days?
Is it their political or religious proclivities? Or could it be the classic loves labours lost?
In the case of Forest Sun and his latest album Harlequin Goodnight it would seem it consists of several points of reference skilfully captured and turned into melodious verse as they drifted by. As if held upon the warm off shore breezes that roll down off the mountains and gently fan the waves along the coastline of California's many beach breaks. Or is it just the way these tunes make me feel?
My So Cal fantasies to one side for a moment. This is a fine collection of such captured thoughts.

Ok, as you may have gathered I’m hooked. This is a very well presented work. Forest Sun is a well-presented fellow. I would go as far as saying that he looks a tad clean cut. Not a country soul beard, plaid shirt or trucker hat in sight. Even his name Forest Sun, some may say is a bit on the side of twee. But placing all this stereotypical bull to one side. I’m glad I pursued this musical hunch and found this gem of an album.

Its opener Be Kind To You just flowed out of my speakers with a tingling grace and an almost horizontal vocal lilt.
This recurring theme continues throughout the entire album including the title track Harlequin Goodnight. We skip from the straight up Americana of High and Low, draped in slide and skillful picking. To Gurus and Rock Stars, which found me, dancing a waltz around our living room with my wife. A sight not seen since we first listened to Her Rocky Spine by Great Lake Swimmers. With lines such as “hell is just heaven still learning. So we might as well sing whilst we’re burning” showing there is a wicked yet whimsical side to Mr Sun’s lyrics.
I can even forgive him for the crucifixion of Bob Dylan’s, She Belongs To Me. Which just left me posing the question, why Forest, why?

Forest’s completes his successful mission with the down beat track, Your Horizon. This gently plucked guitar and vocal piece proudly sits at the end of album. A perfectly executed grand finale to this ‘you just don’t want it to end’ album. As I find my self once more reaching for the play button.

For more information on the work of Forest Sun or to buy a copy a Harlequin Goodnight and other albums from Forest Sun's back catalogue visit his web site at

Reviewer: DE Powell

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