The Lonely Forest

Formed in the waterfront town of Anacortes, Washington, the Lonely Forest center on the talents of vocalist/pianist John Van Deusen. The group came together as a quartet in 2005, when frontman Van Deusen chose to bolster his piano-driven compositions with help from guitarist Tony Ruland, drummer Braydn Krueger, and bassist Eric Sturgeon. The group's spacy sound attracted the ear of Seattle's Jack Endino (who, in 1989, produced Nirvana's Bleach), and the Lonely Forest subsequently entered Endino's studio in 2006 to cut the Regicide EP. Ruland left the band soon after the EP's release, but the remaining bandmates opted not to replace him, choosing instead to let Van Deusen's piano assume a larger role in the group's sound. Retreating to their drummer's garage, the Lonely Forest rehearsed and recorded Nuclear Winter, an indie rock concept album revolving around the themes of apocalypse and space travel. Although the album's release was largely limited to the Pacific Northwest, it received much support from KEXP and other local outlets. The group streamlined its approach on its second album, 2009's We Sing the Body Electric!, which showcased Van Deusen and company's latent knack for pop hooks. The Lonely Forest then signed to Trans, the label founded by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla, and released a self-titled EP for the imprint in 2010. The following year saw the release of their acclaimed third album, Arrows, which drew praise from KEXP, NPR, and Amazon. Walla played a bigger part on 2013's Adding Up the Wasted Hours, producing the album as well as mixing three of its songs. ~ Andrew Leahey

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