By: Clare O’Shea

Change is tough – and when you’re the one leaving everything behind, it is twice as hard. Everybody Left by The Forecast celebrates the freedom of moving on but lays bare just how bittersweet this can be. Funded entirely by fans, via the crowd funding website Kickstarter, the album is the Illinois rock outfit’s fifth full-length and their first release through Clifton Motel Records (I Am The Avalanche; Mansions). The Forecast is: Dustin Addis (Vocals/Guitar), Shannon Burns (Bass/Vocals), Kevin Ohls (Guitar) and Tony Peck (Drums).

Everybody Left confronts difficult choices but doesn’t get dragged down in the process. Set in motion by the light optimism of the title track, the album stays hopeful with contemplative Americana (“Skipping Stones”) and fast-rocking tracks like the decisive “Like A Habit”. The lyrics are reliably candid and admit to feeling nostalgic about the past, remembering “the weed, the coke, the smokes / the late nights drinking alone”. The band’s ability to write a good hook is obvious; there isn’t a forgettable chorus on the record.

Burns takes lead vocal duty on highlight track “Take Me Down”, an energetic and punk-infused ode to the road. Her excellent voice control is emphasised in the easy transition between her vocal registers, moving smoothly from verse to chorus. The track acquires a resentful tone towards the end and requests “Don’t bring me down, chasing you on the waterway / yeah I get it you’re alone” as drums and orchestral strings swell in the background.

In the album’s final few minutes much of The Forecast’s indie-rock charm is showcased, but in the mellower context of “Last Stand”. The track thickens with Burns’ angelic multiple-part harmonies, the country-inspired guitars and some of the album’s best lyrics, delivered in Addis’ deep , expressive vocals; these include references to earlier releases, such as 2005’s track “Whiskey’s Dead You’re Next” (“And when the whiskey’s dead you’re next / seized your demon and regrets”).

Altogether, Everybody Left is a curiously immersive album that explores issues any listener can empathise with in some way. Those moments – the long drive, the need to start over, the being-together and the breaking apart – are captured with such accuracy that it becomes much more.

Rating: 8/10
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Record Label:
Clifton Motel Records
For Fans Of: The Graduate, Rainer Maria, The Hush Sound, Jimmy Eat World  
Recommended Tracks: “Take Me Down” // “Like A Habit” // “Last Stand” // “Sing It Out”
Twitter: @TheForecast
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheForecast
Purchase: iTunes / Clifton Motel Records