See: The Forms return from a decade away with the excellently spectral, whispering ‘All Souls Day’

The Forms

QUEENS, New York’s The Forms have been on sabbatical for, well, quite a while now, it’s fair to say.

Their last album, Derealization, came out on fellow Five Boroughs label Threespheres a whole decade ago now, and proved the last of a run of three; since when, nada, until recent singles “Head Underwater”, crunchy and glitchy-break underpinned, drawing on a lineage of Afro-indie-funk going right back through Vampire Weekend to Talking Heads; and midsummer’s bright, synthy “Southern Ocean”, with its attendant, beautiful video.

Today’s track, coming just a little after Hallowe’en, sees a whole different aesthetic at play. It’s called “All Souls Day”, and is wholly breath-in-the-air spectral; post-rock of another stripe, rock with all the balls and posturing removed; it’s indie rock cusping ambient, ethereal and hymnal in a way I’ve maybe not heard since early Bark Psychosis.

The band’s Alex Tween says: “The ‘soul’ of [the] song is the bass steel pan, a deep, sonorous, mysterious, magical musical instrument we had never heard before that sounds ancient and futuristic all at once.

“Layered upon that is a tack piano, a Rhodes, and Hammond organ; while the vocals were recorded at a church in Rockaway, and the result is a strange, dark, meditative soundscape of a quiet apocalypse. 

“We decided to release the song on the actual All Souls’ Day … in fact our entire release calendar was based upon that happening. 

“The song is a wild mood swing after [the previous two singles] ‘Head Underwater’ and ‘Southern Ocean’, which were upbeat, colorful, freak-pop songs. 

“We don’t know what kind of song ‘All Souls Day’ is – but it’s definitely in the vein of a doomy zeitgeist, which is leaned into by the song’s video, in which we play the song in an isolated field in the middle of the Catskill Mountains, and over the course of the day seem to conjure forces that come alive by night as the surrounding goldenrod and spiders look on.”

An album will be forthcoming from The Forms in 2022.

Connect with The Forms elsewhere online at their website and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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