From the first taste of Forest of Breath’s second EP Me and You with Night you might be inclined to think that it is typical singer-songwriter fare, but there are several elements that make it stand out among other music in this style. The band name is an apt description of what to expect: a breathy vocals surrounded by acoustic guitars.
It would be easy to dismiss this as nothing special, but if you give it time the music will sway you. “Send Me” is very pretty with its sleepy melody, but it becomes something else three minutes in when the singer whispers “jebahl” and the cello takes over. It was good before, but that magical moment makes it great.
The cello is this EP’s secret weapon. It elevates the songs, turning something innocuous into something miraculous. It takes my breath away every time it makes its entrance. Ryueum, who produced and composed the songs, knows how to build up energy even in music as subdued as these. “You” for instance swells throughout its three minute running time. The worst offender of being typical is “Sleeping Hours” which, living up to its title, is the sleepiest song here. I get the impression that that is the style that the group is going for though, because Yoonguitar uses her hushed, bedtime vocals throughout, and the mood is very leisurely overall.
However, I think that even mellow music can be engaging. “Thanks, and you” is also very unobtrusive, but it is more compelling than “Sleeping Hours” ever becomes. Surprisingly, the best song and the one you will remember afterward is the bonus track “Breath” which uses the cello to full effect here, playing a comparatively galloping melody punctuated by some very well-delivered vocals.
While there is a distinct lack of energy on Me and You with Night, it settles into a cozy rhythm and stands out when it unleashes the cello. It is not the kind of music to rave about to friends, but you should not skip over it if you like the acoustic folk style. Forest of Breath have not yet hit their peak, but Me and You with Night is a good step in getting there.