Singer-songwriter Forrest Hill wasn’t going to make a fourth solo album. As a musician, who had a fruitful “part one” career bisected by domestic bliss, enlightening personal journeys, and a fulfilling career outside of music, he felt satisfied with his “part two” output and was fine to move on. Then COVID-19 hit, his father passed away, and many existential questions came to the surface. His new record, Only Love, out January 28th, is a lockdown baby, yet it resonates beyond the confines of pandemic panic.
The 12-song record explores some of the deeper psychological demons that lead to so much suffering in the world and how we can transform our minds for our own benefit and the benefit of others. The album is sleeker and more polished than Forrest’s previous output, due in part to it being a collaboration with rocker, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, Christopher Thomas. Joining Forrest and Christopher in the studio was singer Olivia Clayton who contributed gorgeous harmony and backing vocals to its Only Love.
Forrest is known for poetic, story-driven adult alternative that mixes elements of folk, pop and rock. He’s inspired by lyrically literate and musically adventurous artists such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and the work of David Byrne. The online literary magazine Stedkid.com calls his music “dynamic, melodic, and memorable.”
Today Glide is excited to premiere Forrest’s new album, which is filled with songs aimed at helping the artist process the anxiety, anger, and sadness he was feeling during the pandemic and beyond. Of course, these feelings are now relatable to just about every human on the planet, giving the album that kind of timeless universal appeal. Throughout the album, Forest proves to be a skill songsmith capable of writing catchy yet poignant songs. Musically, the album moves seamlessly between contemporary folk, piano ballads, power pop, and Americana, bringing to mind acts like The Shins and Paul Simon among others. Ultimately, Only Love is an album of our current moment, but one that channels the darkness into light.
Forrest describes the inspiration behind the album:
“Only Love” is primarily about the search for self-acceptance and love. I wrote most of these songs during the early phase of the pandemic. I’d just finished releasing my third album and wasn’t sure I was going to do another one. I started writing music again to help me deal with the anxiety I was feeling about the world, growing old and the trauma of Trump. A lot of the lyrics were originally quite dark, but over time I made changes to infuse them with more light and hope. I see “Only Love” as a reflection of my own difficult journey towards self-compassion and love. Hopefully, some of the songs will resonate with others on this path and be of benefit to them.
Photo credit: Kelly Mason