Strum A Note Up In The Wires: A Dead Forest Index

Written by Jules Innocenzi on 21st April, 2012

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For something a little different, this post is on a band I haven’t actually seen live — yet.

A Dead Forest Index have such an intriguing sound. I first heard them on triple j and am so glad I’ll have the opportunity to catch them live soon. Theirs is the kind of music that has you holding your breath as you listen. Sam and Adam Sherry (brothers, obviously) make beautiful music together; its surreal and stunning minimalism is not like anything I’ve heard recently.

Seeing as I haven’t yet had the pleasure of seeing them live as yet, I’m reliant on the material on the big wide web and have discovered Antique, an EP re-released last year (initially self-released in 2010) featuring four tracks. According to their Facebook page, they also have a debut album on the way.

A little impromptu review on what I’ve heard so far: The track Distance has such a gypsy-folk quality to it. Starting with slow and steady guitar and lone drum, it eventually breaks out into a more powerful and haunting melody and vocals complete with eerie ‘oohs’ and an almost chanting quality to the hook. This has to be my fav track on Antique; there are so many intricate layers to the song, it’s one that I can play several times over and not get sick of.

Anchoring The Hands has a catchy beat and such smooth vocals. This track is different; it kind of changes direction half way through with the music melting away except for an ominous drum and again those eerie repetitive lyrics. It’s effective though, almost theatrical. Under A Winter Sun is so unique, it’s performed a capella, and the boys have such strong, smooth vocals and harmonies that carry the whole track so well that soon you don’t even notice the lack of instrument.

Finally, Turning sounds quite experimental. All the tracks are unique in their own way, but this one is the MOST unique. The vocals sound like the chanting you might hear coming out of a monastery – it is one creepy, spine-tingling piece of music. Unfortunately, it’s hard to understand the lyrics due to the drawn-out, but effective, chanting of the lyrics.

I said in my very first Strum A Note post that I like the quirky, unusual and all round different, and A Dead Forest Index is, as I said, not like anything else I’ve heard for a long time. They are fantastic musicians, and no doubt they’ll be gigging their little hearts out around Melbourne during 2012.

A Dead Forest Index is playing at the Curtain Bandroom in Carlton on 11 May, so head down and enjoy their live experience for yourself.

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