By Jessica Hilo
February 10, 2009
Since the meteoric rise of Bon Iver, acoustic guitarists and piano rockers alike have headed for the hills, so to speak, in search of the romance in reclusion, writing, and recording. In the thick of the creative process, Foreverinmotion’s Brendan Thomas is no different, inspired by New Mexico’s mud huts, rose colored deserts, and broken mesas as scene to his next album. Tapping into the energy of one of the oldest and best culturally preserved cities in the U.S, Thomas finds creativity from newfound spirituality. It would be easy to lump him alongside the other psycho-babbled Deepak Choprans and disposable disciples who feign meaning in the mundane; but Thomas, a rare find, proves to be an interminable artist on the move.
Brendan Thomas, a self-produced multi-instrumentalist, has mastered the art of creating ethereal dreamscapes in melody; which shouldn’t be a surprise with a name based on the shapelessness of music and its focus on an everlasting present. Musical comparisons include solo acts like Damien Rice, Andrew McMahon, or even Peter Mulvey, and as with their music, Thomas nails wandering melody dichotomously with uncomfortable and real lyrics- they are harsh, personal, and poetic. Therein is the beauty of Foreverinmotion: both its indomitable strength and delicate vulnerability. Though not at liberty to discuss the finer points of his latest work, a new album for release in the spring, Thomas claims great inspiration from a journey of self-discovery in moving to New Mexico. His reeducation was both spiritual and metaphysical in nature and helped him gain newfound appreciation for the little things; honing his song writing process with maturity and focus and helping him gain perspective as an artist on the rise.
Thomas has always been pigeonholed to the wrong crowd- marketed for years to the emo pop punk when he clearly belongs to an NPR generation of recovering folk addicts. Despite this misfortune, Thomas claims his latest work “is all positive. Reflective;” a bank of focused songs hinged on memory and the completeness of a recalled experience. He hopes for new directions in his latest work: “You get in a boat, you put up the sails, and you just go. See where it takes you. I am doing pretty much everything on the record. Once I do as much as I can, I’ll fly back east and get all my buddies on the new album. You can lose something by not branching your music out to other ideas from other people; [get] that chemistry that comes with working with other people.” On this odyssey, this spiritual songster hopes for more enlightenment amongst the business end of the industry: “I see growth, I see travel, and hopefully a lot of people getting into [the album]. I’m hoping the music I make will have a positive impact on people. Life is short, you can’t worry too much about money or the business side of things. I’m more driven towards the spiritual side of things. [But] you can’t be an artist and truly create with space and comfort without making money on the side. It’s kind of a fine line. To quote Bill Hicks, the comedian, ‘you’re an artist until you really start whoring out your fame, then your off the artistic role call.”
Putting pattern to the chaos of self-awareness and pinning artistry down is never an easy task, but Foreverinmotion’s Brendan Thomas, an anonymous troubadour slowly gaining his notoriety while hiding in plain sight, has his head on straight. Positioned for bigger and better things outside the preserved sanctity of New Mexico, with a new album and dreams of expansion (“I’ve done the United States pretty much to the dirt. I would love to start touring internationally”), Thomas has the humility and unique perspective of an artist destined to move by leaps and bounds: “I don’t require fame, because that’s all ego. Fame is not on my list of things that I want. I look at it more as, I continue to do what I’m doing and hopefully it will be successful. First and foremost I want to make music that reaches people and that I feel good about.”