Brooklyn Forbes is a psychedelic indie pop artist from Cleveland, USA. Her dreamy and experimental debut EP Egoic Illusion is something of a personal project for her. Self-written and self-produced, it explores the last eighteen months of her life.
By Graeme Smith
From the opening track On My Way, I knew I was going to be in for a treat with this EP. Layered, overlapping electronic instrumentals create a lush soundscape while Brooklyn’s charismatic vocals provide the substance. It loops and waltzes, reflecting the sense of timelessness we’ve all felt in a locked down Covid world.
When it reaches its conclusion, it bleeds into the melancholic Curiosity. Infused with apathy and somewhat more acoustic than On My Way, it takes on the guise of modern-day country folk. Among Brooklyn’s influences is Lana Del Rey and that influence comes through loud and clear in this track, sharing her brand of sad, lush alternative pop.
Track three The Ashes is similarly acoustic and melancholic. Even more stripped back, it’s made up of acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies. The simple elements combine to form a wonderfully intimate atmosphere and make the track feel almost confessional, as if Brooklyn is sharing something deeply personal with us, the faceless confidant.
Brooklyn is also influenced by other singer songwriters like Regina Spektor and Fiona Apple and this is most clear from the piano-led Hostility. The track brings in classical and vaudeville influences to create an atmosphere of conflict and paranoia. Brooklyn’s vocals are equally part pleading and over it. It’s a tremendously expressive piece that ends big.
The EP closes with Echo Chamber, a piece that brings together the electronic soundscape of On My Way and the melancholy of the EP’s other three tracks. It plods along at its own pace feeling both introspective and a call out – like questioning if sadness is in your head or in the world. It’s a pensive moment that perfectly wraps up the uncertain feel of the EP. It say: sometimes we don’t have all the answers and that’s sometimes a good thing.
Egoic Illusion is a fantastic debut from an artist that has found her voice and has something to say. I highly recommend it. You can check out the EP below.