Broken Forest consists of singer, songwriter and producer Luise London. Based in London, she has incorporated her love and respect for animals into her lyrics and work, teaming emotional messages with intense synth and guitar sounds, which are then sprinkled with sound effects from nature itself. This comes across beautifully in the debut EP Lost in Fairytales, which consists of four thematic songs that draw their inspiration from popular fairy-tales.
‘Winter’, the opening track was released as single in November last year, and works well as an introduction. London shows off her unique vocals which pair seamlessly with the hypnotic beat of the song itself. Inspired by ‘The Little Match Girl’, the track dips between heartbreak and anger and it works beautifully. Granted, the refrain though hypnotic is slightly repetitive but it does a fantastic job of personifying the cruelness of winter.
‘Peter’ fades in with a more hopeful disposition than the previous track. The added use of bird sounds contributes to the mystical vibes and fairytale imagery London attempts to convey. It’s quite obvious this track is heavily influenced by Peter Pan, and indeed pairs a childlike longing with an adult melancholy, akin perhaps to the feelings of an adult Wendy. It’s a beautiful track, and very easy to get lost in London’s own musical Neverland.
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‘Lost at Sea’ is the most atmospheric track on the EP, drowning you immediately in the sounds of crashing waves and a hypnotic beat. The EP itself is very much focused on the sensory imagery of each song, and ‘Lost at Sea’ is perhaps the most obvious example. It’s a romantic song, based loosely on ‘The Little Mermaid’ but the lyrics are almost too cliché. However, that does make them easy to pick up. Sometimes simplicity works.
The final track ‘Walking Amongst Giants’ is the darkest, and a good stand out piece. The crashing drums and snarling bass really capture the imagery of a giant’s world. It is a repetitive song, but again, creating a relevant, thematic atmosphere appears to be the main aim.
Overall, the EP is clever and sticks very firmly to the fairytale theme which results in an impulse to link each song to its respective influence. However, this could swerve into dangerous territory as it could be seen as a lack of originality, although perhaps a themed EP is a refreshing change. The songs themselves are beautifully arranged but do blend into one another which works well as a collection of narratives but raises questions on how willing Broken Forest is to mix up their sound. It is a wonderfully put together EP though, and definitely will attract fans of The XX and Bon Iver, as well as those who are concerned with animal welfare.
Lost in Fairytales is available now on iTunes and Spotify. Proceeds from the EP will be donated to The Fox Project.