Forrest Day – “Quarantine Dream”

   The new Forrest Day release begins beastly and energizing, with adrenaline bass thumps counted out with crisp high hats. A faint unique cavitation briefly lends tribal vibe. A short montage of leadership figures projects their absurd take on the pandemic and what to do about violators. It culminates in Philippine president Duterte saying “shoot them dead” right on the beat. Those words are held in an echo and the song transitions into a more playful dance piece with a sinister prowling bass line. 

   In a developing country barber shop, Forrest gets up mid haircut and plays the modulated main riff on his saxophone, still donning the gown. Additional excerpts from speeches and the trancelike refrain “quarantine dream” cycle in and out amid other playful noises, like silly groans and chopped up screams. 

The video mostly alternates between two dance visuals, both captivating. The first is an impressive normcore clad performance cut across settings, including a street food lot with wild chickens, a crumbling hilltop basketball court and a brightly painted residential building. The other is a highly tattooed solo dancer in and out of the water on a tropical beach, decidedly gritty and erotic. Choreography is attributed to Gino Hate, Glenda Alday and Monica Herrera. Directed by Forrest Day, the video is well produced across the board, from sense of place to lighting, timing of cuts and pause-to-the-beat effects. 

One of the great things about Forrest Day is that no two tracks sound the same. Their sound is distinct and they boast a wide range of elements done well: great singing and rap, relatable lyrics, soul, funkiness, jazziness, intense rock, and somehow they’re even better live. Check out the videos on their site and you’ll get it. They don’t seem to have hit the big time yet, so purch the merch if you can.

Watch the new video here:

Forrest wrote about being in the Philippines through the lockdown and airport closures. Check it out here


The Rolling Stones – “Living in a Ghost Town” (Single)

The first original Stones release in eight years, “Living in a Ghost Town” is a relevant treat that will outlast this era. Putting into words the feelings and lackluster home life of quarantine, it laments the sudden lack of parties and live music sessions now replaced by screen time and longing. Mick Jagger’s vocals are in top form, as are the tasty guitar tones and tight rhythm section. Fans of their 1978 song “Miss You,” will enjoy the sonic breathing room, understated groove and shouty chorus hook.

Some say the song has a reggae feel to it, which is understandable given the backbeat organ accents and long (although faint) echo trails. Those trace elements seem practically unavoidable however when a R&B influenced rock band performs a song about ghosts.

In contrast to other covid period pieces, this track doesn’t feel cliché. It spares us the word “quarantine” and scarcely makes a direct reference, thereby relating to our feelings without an electric arc into the circuit of bad news. It could potentially resonate as well under different circumstances. This song should stand on its own even after society has moved onto whatever awaits us. 

Check it out here: