Those of us lucky enough to have connected with Fran Dominguez on Twitter know him to be a generously supportive friend. He represents a kind of alt-reality in which the too-often-maligned platform is used to send compliments and supportive shout-outs. Not such a complicated idea, but one worth recognizing.
He sent along a similarly kind note to announce his new Forest Robots LP After Geography. It is a delicate beauty, combining ambient and new classical music sensibilities. A “radical departure,” to quote Dominguez directly, relative to previous releases.
The album’s title is a nod to his passion for nature. “With over 400 ascents and 6,000 miles of cross-country land hiked and climbed across California and the Pacific Northwest over the years, this album is once again informed and inspired by my experiences in the outdoors,” he writes. “After Geography focuses on life altering situations while traversing the mountains, when unexpected variables arise and regardless of your preparation, you have only your intuition to guide you.”
Paired with titles like “Awash in Granite Geometry” and “Night Sky Over The Face Of A Nearby Tarn” (two of the album’s most sublime moments) this backstory provides the work a suitably grand context.
But there’s more to all of this.
“[T]here is so much information and disinformation about our current pandemic, social unrest and injustices that at the end of the day, you have only your intuition to guide you in making the right choices,” writes Dominguez. “I feel this current state of the world is very much on par with those life altering moments in the outdoors. It is my hope with this album to provide a safe space to think more thoroughly about our personal choices and make decisions that are more deeply rooted in empathy and compassion.”
After Geography is more than just the best Forest Robots disc yet. It is a welcome reminder of what it means to be a decent human.