In the process of releasing two of the more subtle and accomplished rock records of the past decade, Brooklyn’s The Forms have also managed to simultaneously retain their distinct musical identity and a continued refusal to compromise. Yes, they’ve certainly taken their time thus far; 2007’s stellar self-titled effort was released some four years after their exciting debut, Icarus, and now we’ll finally get their third offering in February of 2011. But hearing their work puts all that time into perspective. A breathtaking meld of affecting melodies, stunning harmonies, rich tones and textures, unconventional song structure, and odd time-signatures, the rewards of their music are numerous and unfold further with each listen. Their compositions feel very masterfully composed — elaborate, but not overwrought, likely deconstructed and reconstructed into more perfect versions of themselves several times over. Striving for their namesake, perhaps?
Their latest, a six song EP titled Derealization, pushes that concept even further. After band members Matt Walsh (drums, guitar, keys) and Alex Tween (vocals, keys, guitar) sat down to listen to their latest record on vinyl for the first time, they forgot to change the speed of the turntable from 45 to 33. Struck by how the songs sounded, they thought they should do a “remix album” of some sort. Ultimately this would turn into a much more serious and monumental project as The Forms would pore over past works, taking bits and pieces for the foundations of Derealization and reworking them into completely new songs. This EP, which was recorded at a new studio that Matt Walsh himself designed and built in Queens, became a very collaborative process as well, featuring varied contributions from members of The National, St. Vincent, Pattern Is Movement, Dirty Projectors, and Shudder to Think.
To me, all of this points to another brilliant work from these guys. If the Forms have proven anything thus far it’s that they are masters of the process of songwriting, so additional exploration can only mean good things.
Look for Derealization to drop on Feb. 15th of next year — I’ll be sure to share an mp3 with you as soon as one is available. Until then, you can download “Bones” from their self-titled record down below or stream/buy the whole thing over at their Bandcamp page.