Forest Ray Plays with Vintage Psychedelia in ‘Laughing’

Forest Ray

Simple is sometimes better.


It seems like the whole music industry is rushing to be bigger, badder, more complex. It seems as if everyone is trying to be profound, have some sort of social commentary, be a voice. Of course, that’s important, but sometimes, it’s nice to just hear music. One of the simplest pleasures in life is tapping your foot and being carried away by a tune.


Forest Ray makes it easy to kick back, relax, and enjoy the music you’re listening to. “Laughing” is their simple, beautiful new single.

The group is a small band out of San Luis Obispo, California, now located in Seattle. Their music is a tasteful throwback to the old garage rock of the ’60s, using the Roland Space Echo distortion for the distinct analog sound.


For the full vintage sound, the band records all of their music on an original eight track tape, using a reel-to-reel recorder. While that may seem a little over the top, I heavily admire the effort that the band puts into making their music. I certainly respect Forest Ray for their attempt to make their music sound authentic.


Forest Ray Keeps It Simple


A strummed guitar, a simple beat, a dipping bass, and a few long, lonely guitar licks. That’s all it takes for Forest Ray to make a beautiful song such as “Laughing.”


“Laughing” incorporates long guitar riffs, full of bends and floating notes, signatures in psychedelia. Distorted, garage rock vocals hum occasionally in the song. Forest Ray really focuses on the instruments at play in “Laughing,” the vocals are not the focus. Sometimes, musicians asks us to listen, analyze, hear what is being said to us. Forest Ray asks us to hear what is being played.


As is evident in the recording, production, and style of Forest Ray, “Laughing” is easy to listen to. The single is a lighthearted attempt to truly create music, not a persona, or any sort of fame. Forest Ray is true to themselves and to their music, a rare and touching thing to experience.

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