Forest Claudette Goes Track-By-Track Through Their New EP ‘Everything Was Green’

19 June 2023 | 11:44 am | Forest Claudette

The fast-rising artist dove deep for their soulful third EP – and now they’re filling us in on everything that went into it.

Forest Claudette

Forest Claudette (Credit: Michelle Grace Hunder)

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Everything Was Green follows what I feel have been some of the more impactful moments in my life over the past two years. One way of looking at it is that I grew up in green, in the forest. Green represents everything I’ve known, everything that is safe and familiar. 

For the first five months of 2022 I was in LA writing. It was my first time travelling solo internationally and my first taste of living alone. I met so many wonderful people and learned a lot about myself and my hope is that folks can feel that throughout the EP.  

The songs aren’t ordered chronologically. Instead, they map a cycle of thoughts and life that I’ve been experiencing since 2019. Heartbreak, freedom, excess, gratitude, awareness and finally tracing most issues back to systemic injustice. I feel like these themes whirl around my head on a loop near constantly. I go through phases of seeing them everywhere or seeking them out. 

1. Two Years

I started writing Two Years around the same time I wrote Gone Without A Trace. I remember I was grappling with the idea of how to listen to myself or choose myself and not feel like a selfish asshole. It was the beginning of understanding my brain better and learning to communicate differently and with more authenticity. 

A lot of time passed between the initial idea and the session that lead to it sounding the way it does now. That time really helped me come to terms with the feelings I captured in the initial demo, and with the help of Gabe and JAHS, allowed me to focus on them from a place of clarity. 

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2. Motor In The Sand

Motor In The Sand is my “choose chaos” song. It centres around this energy of turning into the skid. When you don’t know exactly what you’re gonna do next, but you feel like there’s time for a quick detour or maybe you can’t turn away from it. 

It’s an acknowledgement of the destructive ideas and feelings I had in my head at the time, as well as some of the people around me. I wrote it with my friend Pip and we really just talked about all the anxiety I had around this trip I was going to take to LA. When I think about it, it’s almost more of a projection of what I feared might happen. 

3. Hi Vis Teeth

This is one of my favourites from the EP. I’ve mused over songs of gratitude before, but they’ve never really hit. This song makes me grin from ear to ear, just thinking about all the wonderful people I have and have had around me. My friends, my parents and of course my two older brothers. All folks I’ve relied on for any number of things over my life, and finally a moment to tell them all how it makes me feel. Like one lucky mf.

4. Pool Boy

I feel like Pool Boy really jumps around thematically but it touches on so many things that I think about. I guess with a step back, Pool Boy is a melting pot for the parts of the world that I fear, the parts that piss me off and this dull, consistent feeling of not being sure I’m doing enough. All the while trying to choose to be kind to myself and be patient.

The creation of this song was so freeing and exciting, as is often the way when working with Alex T. The piano in the track was recorded at my parents’ house in The Patch on my phone, then we fed it through a tape recorder l had been gifted recently. I can’t actually remember what we did next but the whole day was about that tape recorder, and I’ve got a vague memory of a drum machine thing too – we had a lot of fun. 

5. Violence

Violence came to be one night when I was alone in my Airbnb in Culver City. For maybe half an hour I just heard sirens and helicopters chasing someone around, and I just couldn’t stop wondering who was being pursued. A year after the murder of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd at the hands of police and it felt like nothing had changed.

I brought the idea to Lophile (Ty) and I can’t thank him enough for his contributions and energy. While he was fleshing out the production, we talked about how it should leave you feeling. It was important for it to feel warm, so that Black folks and people of colour in general listening could feel held or supported through the track since the subject is heavy and often triggering.