We look upon a lonesome cabin in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. The door swings open, and out comes none other than singer/songwriter Brooks Forsyth, guitar in hand, optimistic look in his eyes. He steps out into the cold Colorado air and starts to wander down the adjacent road. He’s on his way to a barren play space, where he’ll be joined by a trio of musicians – one on violin, another on cello, the third on percussion – that will together bring the single “Cast My Dreams to the Wind” to life in this incredibly vivid new music video. One of eleven tracks that comprise his new album So Much Beyond Us, “Cast My Dreams to the Wind” captures the essence of Forsyth’s identity as a modern day troubadour; here, much as he is in real life, he’s a melodic storyteller who can sit down with any likeminded musicians and turn out something as hauntingly beautiful as the iconic forerunners who walked these same roads only decades prior to his arrival. If So Much Beyond Us is a statement record, this single is indeed its most powerful emission.
Much like the music video for “Cast My Dreams to the Wind,” Brooks Forsyth’s latest album is steeped in rich grandiosity of the most erudite quality. From the get-go, Forsyth is toying with experimental compositions in the title track, “Anna Lee” and “Girl from Caroline,” which meld a lot of textures together to form a swanky style of alternative country that has more in common with the Americana on yesteryear than it does anything currently making the major label execs in Nashville happy. Other songs, like “Seasick James,” “Blue Railroad Train” and “Little Coal Mining Town,” follow more conventional song structures, but by and large, you’d be hard pressed to find a single instance in which Forsyth comes off as lazy or unoriginal in his lyrics or his music. There’s too much passion in “Ain’t Got the Time,” too much of an earnest sway to “Don’t Come Around No More,” and too much uncaged emotion in “Restless at Home, Lonesome on the Road,” for me to consider this album anything less than a treasure chest of raw confessionals and tempered tonality.
Fans of acoustic music, roots rock, folk, country and contemporary alternative music really can’t go wrong with Brooks Forsyth’s all-new LP and its star single/music video, and though he’s facing some stiff competition from both American and Canadian singer/songwriters right now, I don’t know that I’ve heard another artist in or out of his scene with the same depth of emotionality and command of sharp string melodies that he tends to bring with him into every studio session that he participates in. I don’t think it’s much of a question as to whether or not he’s meeting his full potential in So Much Beyond Us, because he’s clearly got room left for further development and artistic growth, but for what I’ve heard out of his camp in the last four years, this is by far his most intriguing record to see international release.