‘Family Tree’ review: Loud Forest explores family history, addiction and love on their fourth album

Loud Forest

SoCal-based duo Loud Forest introduces their fourth album, Family Tree, a collection of 12-tracks about their families and a search for meaning amid a history of violence, control, addiction, and love.

Made up of Bernard and Rachel Chadwick, who are married, the twosome works out of their experimental project space in Pasadena, California, where they blend elements of alt-rock, Americana, pop, and post-punk into moody indie-rock.

 An album-oriented band, Loud Forest is saturated with indie credibility from years of self-releases, homemade microphones, and hosting rock shows in their studio. With influences ranging from Wilco to the Staples Singers, from Bob Dylan to Trey Sivan, and from Spoon to Anderson .Paak, Loud Forest sets themselves apart by careful attention to hooky melodies and purposeful lyricism, playing with themes of love, fidelity, and family.

Entry points on Family Tree include “I Don’t Want To Go Home,” opening on a driving rhythm rife with alt-rock and hints of new wave running through it. Rachel’s delicious vocals imbue the lyrics with evocative timbres.

Another excellent track, “Don’t Go Away” conjures up suggestions of The Pretenders crossed with Fleetwood Mac, with tints of Cure-like guitars. A personal favorite, “Confidence” stands out because of its potent rhythm and twirling synth accents.

“Radiant Beauty” rides an alt-funk-flavored rhythm topped by swirling colors and Rachel’s soulful vocals. Whereas the Americana-laced, creamy “Easy To Love” rolls out on sparkling, drawling guitars as Bernard and Rachel deliver luscious harmonies.

“Little Bird” travels on gentle folk-rock savors, with cashmere country tangs lining the harmonics and poignant lyrics.

“You were crying / By yourself in the kitchen / You said you were hiding / You don’t feel like a Christian / With your big, transparent eyes / I love you.”


Opening on darker colors and a dense, rumbling rhythm, “Whiskey” pushes out shimmering waves of alluring alt-rock as Rachel parades her nuanced, bewitching voice.

Simultaneously modern and brimming with tinctures of retro aromas, with Family Tree, Loud Forest hits the sweet spot, offering a scrumptious array of stylistic touches.

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