I started listening to Forest Child (which happens to be an appropriate name) with no prior knowledge. The music was pleasant enough and when the vocals came I was surprised to hear a young kid singing. Off the top of my head I was guessing he was somewhere between 12 to 15 years old. After my quick Instagram research my conjecture was validated with photos.
Benny Hagerty is his name and he has some help along the way from Kyle Guzman and Christian Rodriguez on his four-song self-titled EP Forest Child. The music could certainly use some improvement but this is a solid start from Hagerty.
He opens with “Would I” which is pretty much guitar, drums and vocals. Being as young as he sounds there are some lyrics he can get away with and some words that he can’t. Some of the lyrics on on “Would I” would be much more apt for a forty-two-year old man who is on his second marriage and has been battling a drinking problem. He sings “These heavy eyes / can’t see all the good / but would happen if they could / would I change my ways.” Overall the song is simple yet well crafted.
Up next is “Running Away” which like the opener revolves around guitar and drums. There isn't too much to the song. There is one basic riff that doesn’t change although there is a solid subtle lead. “Changing” has a similar tone and structure with sparse singing in between. The one slight deviation is “Gone” which features synths on top of the guitar.
Hagerty’s age has to come into consideration when critiquing his music. His voice is going to change, his style will change and songwriting will almost certainly evolve and mature. As of right now the songs are simple and basic. There is nothing wrong with that. The vocal melodies are solid. Hagerty does get off key on occasion and he will want to continue practicing to improve in that area.
I’d also encourage Hagerty to expand on some of the initial riffs. The songs revolve mostly around one central riff. Don’t be afraid to experiment and deviate from predictability. Who knows what Hagerty's music will sound like in a couple years or decades? Perhaps he will leave music behind to pursue a career in bio physics and be around to witness the Iphone 32.
I would bet against those odds. Music is a bug that grabs you and usually doesn’t let go. I’d be willing to bet in thirty years Hagerty will still be playing music and I'll be in a wheelchair requesting the nurse give me another sponge bath.
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