Forest Fire’s third album, Screens, sounds ready made for an open-air concert in front of a mind-altered audience. It’s the feeling of relaxation and indulgence that evokes a festival vibe; not once does the record feel rushed, and Mark Thresher’s nuanced and affected vocals add to the ‘stop what you’re doing and listen’ attitude their new music conveys.
Forest Fire have incorporated some 70s rock/jam band qualities, as well as some modern day Dream-like Pop, with shout outs to Yoko Ono, Kraftwerk, and Joy Division (the latter two exemplifying a marriage of style that defines Screens). On Passengers, Thresher is driving home a point that seems central to the album’s sound and message, focusing a lens on passive audiences and challenging music lovers not only to hear, but to listen actively.
The standout track is without a doubt the 11-minute Annie. Embodying the indulgent and relaxed pace of the record, it doesn’t feel gluttonous, but instead necessary. One can easily forget how long the track is, which is the best testament to its quality and success. Annie is that perfect union between guitars and synthesizers, and the rolling bass line that slowly becomes surrounded by a plethora of soaring sounds is nothing short of genius.
Both timeless and modern, Screens is a moving record that inspires critical thought and reflection.