If I Am This Forest marks the welcome return of Ryan York to Non Projects in the form of a surprise EP.
While currently at work on both a proper follow-up to 2010’s Asura full-length and an album of experimental electronic pop with Ana Caravelle under the Gold and Soil moniker, Ryan has also been keeping busy with a one off cassette release for Matthewdavid’s Leaving Records and playing strings on Zola Jesus’ new record. With If I Am This Forest, Non Projects documents York diving much deeper into the pop inklings that have been hinted at in his previous work, combined with his unparalleled sense of immersive arrangement and texture.
An ode to Ryan’s current home deep in Topanga Canyon, California, the title track swiftly gets things started as Ryan croons “If I Am This Forest” on top of a vaguely familiar repeating pop chorale. Vocals and tones swell as the song blissfully and hypnotically drives forward, melding dynamic video game arpeggios with lushly organic vocal and instrumental textures. “Sea Water” is a meditative rhythmic journey turned searing percussion jam while “As The Darkness (After the Crash)” finds York in his most upfront pop scenario yet, complete with rich harmonic vocal arrangements, bouncy guitar punches and exuberant skittering percussion. “Me and You” closes out the set with tinkling synths, lurching drums and playfully pitched vocal manipulations. A resident (along with Teebs) at the Alpha Pup presented monthly Futura, Ryan has used the regular concert as grounds for his constantly evolving forays into both electronic and acoustic experimentation. If I Am This Forest provides a strong pop-tinged chronicle of these solo experiments and hints at what we can expect in chapters to come.