Brooks Forsyth – So Much Beyond Us

In his all-new LP So Much Beyond Us, Brooks Forsyth experiments with different influences – ranging from country blues to jazz-inspired eclectic folk – and emerges from the studio with the strongest effort of his career, divided into eleven tracks that establish him as one of the premier singer/songwriters of his scene.

Heaven is but Going Home,” the bristling “Anna Lee,” the blue-hued “Little Coal Mining Town” and folk ballad “Restless at Home, Lonesome on the Road” are devoid of omnipotent guitar solos, raucous riffage and bombastic beats, but make no mistake about it – they will shake you just as hard as any stack of amplifiers you’ll come in contact with in 2019 will.

This has got to be the most multilayered mix that Brooks Forsyth has ever employed, but there’s nothing in excess in So Much Beyond Us aside from the textured tonality of the instruments. The guitars have a voice that is just as emotional an element as Forsyth’s own vocal is, and there’s even a couple of occasions, such as “Girl from Caroline,” “Don’t Come Around No More” and “Seasick James,” where it’s the most expressive entity that we’re exposed to in the music. That said, the lyrics that are embedded in these grooves are some of the most surreal this songwriter has ever devised.

While a lot of artists are going straight-minimalist with their music videos, Brooks Forsyth does the exact opposite with his visual accompaniment to the single “Cast My Dreams to the Wind” and submits a synchronized collection of images that makes us feel all the more connected with his Americana-infused aesthetic. There’s a lot of color, a lot of understated emotion, and a provocative sense of familial comfort underscoring every word to cascade from his lips and dig into our hearts only moments later in this song, and that alone makes its video worth taking a peek at.

Anna Lee,” the title track and “Ain’t Got the Time” are the slickest songs that Forsyth has put onto a single record, but they’re not so polished that I would consider them to be a step away from his signature sound. There’s a graininess to the finish here that prevents them from sounding like pure pop fodder, but I can absolutely see these tracks finding a suitable home on college radio, which has become more and more embracive of Forsyth’s variety of alternative country music as the decade has carried on. “Little Coal Mining Town” isn’t the only skipping folk song on the airwaves right now, but it just might be the most melodic and unpretentious since Drive-By Truckers’ “World of Hurt.”

Brooks Forsyth is at the top of his game in his latest record and the music video for his new single “Cast My Dreams to the Wind,” and even if neither end up garnering the mainstream attention that they undoubtedly deserve, they’re a step towards lucrative success for Forsyth that I would deem critical to the advancement of his career moving forward.

So Much Beyond Us doesn’t try to change the world, but in an era weighed down by overzealous experimentalists, most of whom believe themselves to be some wicked fusion of Hendrix and Lou Reed, it’s a record that plays out like a sweet breath of uncorrupted fresh air.

If you enjoyed a preview from So Much Beyond Us, check out Brooks official website by clicking here. Give him a like on Facebook by clicking here & a follow on Twitter by clicking here. Pick up a copy of So Much Beyond Us on Bandcamp by clicking here.

Eric Jarvis

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