Bernard and Rachel Chadwick make music imbued with love. Their band, Loud Forest, symbolizes the greater symbiosis in which their creativity thrives, blending alt rock with a snap of sparkle. The LA based duo puts every ounce of ingenuity into their projects, and their new single ‘Miracle’ illuminates the potential of their joined capacity.
The band started while Bernard was earning his MFA at ArtCenter College of Design in California. He saw it as a way for rock music to fuse into art, and for art to fuse into rock. Loud Forest carries on this way, ever melding the two and never sparing innovation.
Known for addictive, alternative anthems, a Loud Forest song is not about vocal flair or individual personality; it’s about the music. There’s a freedom when Bernard and Rachel sing in unison, baring the structure of what is, simply put, a really good song.
‘Miracle’ dropped on April 3rd of this year, and brings a diverse color and character to their familiar style. Beginning with ethereal, electronic voices, they build on each other’s voices singing in direct octaves. That open, driving chorus stamps in the message, carrying words that everyone should have on their lips right now: “Love is a miracle.”
Written almost as a reaction to their relationship, multi-instrumentalist Bernard confides: “Hey this is a miracle, let’s not fuck it up, forget about it and run away; let’s remember how special it is.” In times like these – in fact, anytime – the reminder that love, that life, is truly a miracle born out of the universe is warm and welcome.
Loud Forest made the charts with the 2019 summer single, ‘Heartbreak Away,’ landing on Apple Music’s Breaking Alternative and Alt Pop playlists. They are currently working to release their third full length album, coming this year.
Get to know Loud Forest by following them on Spotify, Instagram, and enjoying their version of Pass The Mic below.
BERNARD: Any creative partnership is challenging, but there is something particularly challenging about being in a band with your spouse. What is the most challenging part of making music with me?
RACHEL: (LAUGHING) – Well you can be moody. We approach music so different – you live in the small details – I hear the whole thing right away. Since we’re married, we can be brutally honest with each other – and that hurts sometimes. ALSO – our kids! Right when we get in to it with music, it’s time to feed our kids, get interrupted, pay the babysitter, take them to school, love them, sacrifice for them. Both of us hold that balance and have to take turns parenting, creating music, studio time. Wouldn’t trade any of this, but just sayin.
BERNARD: You as a woman, have a certain power, especially on stage, it seems that you have something unique to express with your voice and even your sexuality. Can you say a little bit about that and maybe talk about how you have discovered and used that as a form of expression? Also, is that exciting or does it create pressure on you?
RACHEL: Oh man, I have found such joy being on stage – performing, singing, expressing these songs physically. It’s an epiphany I’ve had being in Loud Forest. Putting energy into what I wear, how I feel, how we connect on stage emotionally / sexually / musically / intellectually / physically – all amazing amazing. I’m still finding my voice with that. Sometimes it feels like pressure, if spirits are down with the boys in the band, if anyone is struggling – I do try use all my power to lift things, carry that performance, connect. But mostly it’s exciting.
BERNARD: There are certain creative compromises that we both have to make in order for our collaboration to work, that process is often painful but the result is usually better than anything we could have done on our own. Could you talk about your own creative expression and what it is like to collaborate?
RACHEL: I feel that tension of beauty and pain – we disagree a lot on how the song should sound. But usually when we can lock ourselves in the studio, really write together, sing together and get the song to a place TOGETHER – then we love it. Things start to happen that would never happen in our music alone. When I’m writing alone, I can really wander – I usually start with a drum loop and a few chords and start building from there. I can let those pieces sit for awhile. You have a work ethic of making those pieces come together that I totally appreciate. And then I take our work together and try to push it into a more minimal, direct way with more of a pop sentiment. Collaboration has been very good for us.
RACHEL: So Bernard, you come from a pretty punk, grunge rock background. When you write alone, it comes out with a lot of grungy electric guitars and wailing vocals. What has it been like for you to be in Loud Forest, to enter in to some parts of a pop sound – and hear your own sound bend in that direction?
BERNARD: So, the grunge/punk thing is just the clothing for the songs when I’m writing, it’s a space that I feel comfortable in while I am refining the lyrics, melodies and chord progressions. I’m most concerned about the songs themselves, and I actually really love to hear them in different styles and versions. You’re the one who really cares about how they sound, I just care about how they feel. If it’s stacked with muddy guitars and it feels good to me then I love it, but muddy stacks of guitars are like your worst nightmare, haha! So I have had to learn to let the songs morph into new things and also trust my instincts for how I think a song should make me feel. The challenge is to find the aggressive drive that I am always looking for without using loud drums and guitars.
RACHEL: Our first album was pretty much made just with each other in collaboration. On our second album we worked with Steve Wilmot as producer. This third album we are releasing has been done in collaboration with Tim Frieson as producer. What would you say about this new batch of songs; what feels different, fresh, unique – about this third album and this first single release, Miracle?
BERNARD: This new album is an interesting blend of all of those experiences. We were trying to change our approach to recording for our second record which was good for us, but now we have a lot more confidence, not in what we want stuff to sound like, but in the songs. So it’s like, we can do whatever we want, the songs are still the songs, our voices have a particular sound that we can’t escape, so lets just have fun. There is a spirit to the album that reminds me of our first record which was kind of grungy and indie but this album has a clarity to it, a punchy presence that feels like it’s a perfect expression of where we are now.
RACHEL: If you could sit at a table with your 12 year old self, what would you say to him?
BERNARD: Ah dang. That’s a hard one. Uh, I don’t know. I’d say “Five years from now, on your 17th birthday, you’re going to get a guitar. You’ll write a song on that day, and you’ll be writing songs for the rest of your life. Music will be the language with which you learn to navigate the world. It doesn’t matter what anybody thinks about what you do, just be totally fearless, do whatever the fuck you want and have fun. Also, start a savings account right now with whatever money you have, keep feeding it and never touch it.”
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photo / Joshua Bragg
story / Ariana Tibi