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Morella’s Forest

August 7, 2007

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“We’re a mix of beautiful female noise pop and male testosterone rock ‘n roll,” laughs MF’s guitarist Shawn Johnson. Sydney Rentz, the vocalist and female aspect of the previous equation, puts it more simply by calling their sound “edgy pop.” The emphasis is on writing solid songs characterized by simple, sweet melodies that are rounded out by equal parts noisy guitar lines, candy pop, and new wave quirkiness. In truth, no categorization could adequately describe the MoFo’s unique blend of noisy hooks and pop melodies. Alternative Press said, “Imagine them as Velocity Girl, had that band been into a-Ha instead of Echo and the Bunnymen.”

Morella’s Forest began in 1992 when Johnson returned home to Dayton, OH after leaving both Seattle, WA and his signed yet albumless band Righteous Anger. Once back in Dayton, Johnson set out to start a new band and gathered together people with a similar musical vision. The band is comprised of Sydney (vocals, lyrics), Shawn (guitars/keyboards), Joel Votaw (bass), and Jessie Sprinkle (drums). While the boys make the sounds, Sydney is a killer vocalist who can deliver hushed playful melodies, and get gutsy on the chorus. Morella’s Forest is never satisfied with where they have been, but rather look to continually develop their songwriting. Johnson says, “Morella’s Forest has always been from the beginning about never doing the same album twice, and always changing and bringing a new element into the band every record.”

Their acclaimed debut release “Super Deluxe” (Tooth and Nail) was recorded with Steve Hindalong (Choir) and Chris Colbert (Fluffy) at Netherlands Studios in Nashville, TN. The result is a beautiful album influenced by bands like the Cocteau Twins, Medicine and Jawbox. Furthermore, MF’s stylistic beauty is complemented by very classy song lyrics. Written by Sydney, the songs give spiritual perspectives relationships, life and human connection. Rather than being another angry band, MF sings more about life’s beauty, nature and ideals.

On 1996’s “Ultraphonic Hiss”, (produced by Keith Cleversey; Hum, Low, Spiritualized, Flaming Lips, and also on Tooth & Nail) the songs were pure pop drenched in syrupy melodies and tasty hooks. “From Dayton With Love” (1998), also produced by Cleversey (with additional production help from John Schmersal; Brainiac/Enon), found them dabbling in herky-jerky new wave mixed with their trademark noisy indie rock.

The latest release “Tiny Lights of Heaven” finds the band venturing forward yet again, this time straight into the world of pop, creating some of the strongest songs and most moving ballads of their career. Flourishes of Stereolab, flashes of The Cardigans, and flecks of Ivy have been injected into the band’s guitar-driven songs, redefining the Morella’s Forest aesthetic.

Morella’s Forest isn’t looking back, as they prepare to bring to the pop world more of their trademark infectious melodies delivered with sensuous vocals, textured guitars, creative arrangements and balanced rhythm section. “I think the indie pop world has a lacking in female singing bands (good ones at least),” explains Johnson. “I think we breathe a breath of freshness into the music that ’s out there. We are just trying to right catchy, positive songs and I think that is really missing in music today.” Today Morella’s Forest continues to record and play out, bringing their own special collection of catchy, positive songs to clubs and venues everywhere that need a little more beauty. From Dayton with love, of course.

Similar Artist :

www.myspace.com/morellasforest321

Audio Sample : 90 seconds

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3 comments

  1. Flourishes of Stereolab? Flashes of The Cardigans? Flecks of Ivy?

    Man, I need to check out that album.


  2. Kit, you should check the album “Tiny Lights Of Heaven” as well. A real garagey “new wave” indie influenced album. MF was ahead of the pack. Reviving “New Wave” before it came into fashion again with The Killers and Franz Ferdinand.


  3. Rock on for bands from Dayton, OH!! I remember having the Super Deluxe album back in 1995! I don’t remember knowing they were from my hometown though! Great stuff.



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