Forest Swords is one producer, Matthew Barnes, from the Wirral, Liverpool, UK. A unique blend of jagged hip-hop and R&B beats, looping guitar lines and manipulated samples, his evocative and emotional music reflects the sprawling Wirral landscape of river, coastland and woodland with all the haunting melodies of nearby city Liverpool’s enviable pop history.
His studio EP – 2010′s ‘Dagger Paths’ – received huge critical acclaim. Despite it’s EP length, it was named FACT Magazine’s #1 album of the year and Pitchfork’s #48 best, called “one of 2010′s finest underground records” by NME, and chosen a ‘Hidden Gem of 2010′ by The Guardian.
In November 2010, Pitchfork posted an article suggesting Barnes was part of a new generation of producer composers, alongside James Blake, Mount Kimbie, Bon Iver, Burial and Four Tet. After 3 years of silence a new track - "Thor's Stone" - was dropped without warning in June 2013, receiving universal online coverage.
Within 48 hours The FADER had published a think piece proclaiming the producer's music is "worth endless listens, endless re-examinations, endless re-contextualizing", and stating it "exists in that sweet spot of musical influence between everything and nothing.
" Forest Swords' long awaited debut album 'Engravings' was released in Aug 2013 through Tri Angle Records. The critical response has been unanimously positive, with Pitchfork giving an 8.5 Best New Music review and Resident Advisor a 4.
5/5 review. Stereogum rated it at number 37 in their best albums of 2013 list, Wire Magazine at number 35, Pitchfork at number 34, Clash Magazine rated it at number 21, Dummy Magazine at number 16, and Tiny Mix Tapes at number 10.
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