November 11, 2013 / 2:03 am

The Lonely Forest- Adding Up The Wasted Hours

Rating: 6/7
As far as music is concerned, the Pacific Northwest seems to be a breeding ground for some of this generation’s greatest Indie musicians. Death Cab for Cutie, Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses are just a few of the massively popular indie-rock bands to rise from Washington state.

80 miles outside of Seattle, which has become a mecca for hipster music, is Anacortes, WA, where fellow indie-rockers, The Lonely Forest, call home. The band, lead by frontman John Van Deusen, put themselves on caliber with their Pacific-Northwest counterparts with their fourth full-length album Adding Up The Wasted Hours.

Produced by Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, the album opens up with “Pull The Pin and Forget It,” a guitar-heavy track that combines layered vocals and echoes to produce a song filled with depth. It transitions beautifully into the next track, “Lovric’s,” which, with a foot-stomp inducing and piano-driven beat, shows The Lonely Forest at their best—strong instruments combined with subtle harmonies to create a memorable track.
The band continues their signature up-beat, poppy sound throughout the album with songs like “Left-Hand Man, as well as title track “Adding Up The Wasted Hours.” These both feature catchy choruses and consistent guitar riffs that are consistent with the overall uplifting sound of the album.

A darker, more melancholy sound is unexpectedly brought to the table in the middle of the album with “Neon Never Changes,” an understated but beautifully orchestrated song. While the latter half of the song is primarily synthesized beats with echoing vocals layered over the top, Van Deusen still manages to make an emotional appeal with lyrics such as “I’ve considered slowing down my heart/A form of dreaming while awake/It’s my chest floor on floor.” Amongst a sea of more standard indie-rock songs, “Neon Never Changes” helps to elevate the album to a new level.

“Neon Never Changes” contrasts with later track on the album “Soundings In Fathoms,” a slow-moving melody with stripped down versus. Yet again, Van Deusen showcases his passionate writing-style, compiling a string of striking metaphors and personifications such as “You are a book/with torn out pages”, “You are an avalanche/swiftly descending” and “You are a body of water/ so deep I dare not dive.”

Closing out the album is the eight and a half minute long “Stars Like Dust,” a striking guitar-driven melody that shows a more haunting side to Van Deusen’s vocals. His falsetto is highlighted over the course of the song, leading to a stadium-worthy chorus. The track closes out with a sprawling echoing chant, with Van Deusen crooning “Oh what a beautiful way to waste our time,” over heavy electric guitar and drums perfectly closing out the eleven track album and giving way to it’s title.

With so many poppy and upbeat songs, upon first listen the album may seem muddled and repetitive. However with a closer listen to transitions and lyrics, the album gives The Lonely Forest another step up in the rung of Pacific Northwest indie rockers. With tracks such as “Stars Like Dust,” this album demonstrates the band’s ability to produce memorable choruses and shows off Van Deusen’s wide vocal range. As the winter doldrums fall upon us, Adding Up The Wasted Hours , with it’s upbeat melodies and Van Deusen’s light vocals, provides an uplifting soundtrack to listen to during hours of studying and facing snowstorms in between classes.

Must Listens:

-Lovric’s

-Neon Never Changes

-Soundings in Fathoms

-Stars Like Dust

-Annie Skertic
Reach Annie at: mskertic@indiana.edu