Times When I Know You’ll Watch the Sky is a new album from Forest Robots (the musical project of Fran Dominguez), scheduled to be released offically on November 1, 2019. However, you can pre-order it on Bandcamp here.
For those unfamiliar with Forest Robots’s style, it basically combines elements of orchestral futurist music (synthwave, etc) with the organic ambiance of nature in various forms. In opting for seasonal themes, the first two albums dealt with spring and summer. while the latest, Times When I Know You’ll Watch the Sky, pays homage to fall. The songs on this album typically feature a brisk and breezy analog style intro that often sounds somewhere in between record player crackle and a gust of forest wind. It’s a highly effective precursor to when the beat kicks in and envelops you in the enchanted musical ambiance.
When most people think of “nature” music, they imagine new age style stuff that you would hear playing in the background at a store that sells incense and crystals. This isn’t like that. It’s not mellow meditation music. It’s fun, upbeat and you can dance to most of these jams. Yet, the vibe is still cerebral enough to where you could enjoy some contemplative reflection if that’s what you’re looking to get out of it.
Another way this album plays against type is with it’s focus on the sky and the stars. Though the theme is autumn, you won’t find cliches about pumpkin spice and raking leaves. The titles of the tracks mostly relate to the moon, the sun, the rain etc. The emphasis is on what’s happening in the sky (and beyond). This keeps with the space/futurist/nature combination that’s central to the artist’s brand. The tracks are all instrumental of course, so the titles serve as clues to what is being conveyed.
The more I listen to it, the more I think this album would work well as a soundtrack to some kind of role playing adventure video game that takes place in a forest and mountain setting. Bright, lively and emotive, the songs also have an eerie and suspenseful component to them (Of Rivers And Rivers Of Light being a good example of this). All in all, this album is an avant garde and refined near-masterpiece that has me looking forward to what’s in store for winter.
I should also mention that there’s an accompanying film being released in tandem with this album, titled All Things Grow Faint With Great Adorn In Autumn. I recommend viewing it for the full listening experience. Influenced by the work of David Lynch and Salvidor Dali, the surreal visualizations supplied will allow your mind to dive deeper into the music for those who are willing to go there.
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