K. Forest Transcends Hip-Hop & R&B, Defies Genre at Large with Memory Springs
Evan Dale // Mar 7, 2020
Indefinable Toronto transcendentalist, K. Forest is an artist whose music drowns listeners under a tide of reminiscence and recollection to sounds, stylings, experiences, and emotions come, gone, and altogether yet to pass. A sprinkle of relatable sadness here; some stark ferocity there. A little bit of D’Angelo in a riff; a touch of PARTYNEXTDOOR on the hook. And through all the emotional nostalgia; through the mire of referential influence, K. Forest emerges not alone, but unique, flooding our Memory Springs like no artist ever has.
His newest project – which for an artist as prolifically outrageous as K. Forest, may not be true by the time this is read – is a 5-track EP exploring the latest progressions in the juxtaposing stylistic lanes he continues maneuvering and making his own. You see, to call him a rapper would be short-sided. To call him an R&B vocalist would be, too. Instead he’s something of both, but through his boundless range and seamless changing of lanes, he emerges as something else altogether only really describable as K. Forest. The figure of post-genre modernism, he is his own grey area.
Memory Springs is – like each subsequent project to his canon – a K. Forest zenith that only by antiquated standards feels lost to an exact direction. To meander is to explore the range of one’s self. K. Forest wears many shoes and his music dances in them all.
Potent opens Memory Springs as an acoustic-founded, quick-paced, raw ballad overflowing with emotion and desire. Against the Wall is a bass-heavy signature from K. Forest who spends the track’s entirety effortlessly tethering the line between the rapped and the sung. Cry is an experimental track putting on vibrant display K. Forest knack at more traditional hip-hop verses. I’m Leaving Today is a glaring change of pace towards the altogether atmospheric and introspection inspiring. And Madness is a floaty, hallucinatory exhibition on track with K. Forest’s most explored and consistent center.
It’s that center that draws Memory Springs akin. It’s that center – carefully balanced and curated – that K. Forest orbits. In the midst of an effortless transition between quick-cadenced raps and uniquely pitched notes is where one finds K. Forest most at home, and taken whole, Memory Springs is an exploration of that one moment pushed and pulled towards its outer boundaries.
It’s often that a 15-minute project evokes strong sentiments from us; it’s not often, however, that it inspires lengthy writing. But, this case is different. As one of the hardest working artists not only in R&B, hip-hop, or whatever grey area one could want to box K. Forest into, but in music at large, K. Forest exists as a definition of the modern artist. He explores the range of his ability and the limitlessness of his experimentation with each track, never settling on the absurdity of genrefication, but instead pointing out why genrefication is an ignorant invention at large when the kind of rangy, transcendental genius of artists like K. Forest exists.