Morella's Forest
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Columbus Alive

About 70 miles to our west, Dayton's Morella's Forest has been banging out albums for nearly 10 years with little fanfare in the mainstream. Part of this is because, for it's first three releases, it was tied to the Christian label Tooth and Nail. Secular audiences (and radio) pass these bands off as "holy rollers" and think that if you listen to "Christian" music, you'll be brainwashed and start rolling around town with a RadioU sticker firmly planted on your car's bumper. Morella's Forest doesn't really seem to care much for preaching, at least not in the sense you might think. Instead, the band, led by the adorable Sydney Rentz, preaches good pop music.

Morella's Forest has gone back and forth throughout it's history trying to find the balance between sugarcoated pop and shoegazing bliss, mostly with successful results. On the new CD, the band plants it's feed firmly in indie-pop. Rentz's vocals are sweet and her cohorts provide hooks galore throughout. Whether it's peppy pop ("Running", "Choppy", "Some Other Time") or softer, more subdued numbers ("Lullaby", "Sand And The Sea"), "Tiny Lights of Heaven" succeeds in all of it's lo-fi, indie-pop glory. Hats off to producer/drummer Jesse Sprinkle (also of Poor Ol Lu) who was able to capture the raw passion of the band rather than filling the songs with distractions.

- Chip Midnight


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